of research | General methods introduction
| Basic statistics
This book takes an interesting and innovative approach to the design of survey research. By first concentrating on "being clear about why they are using a survey in the first place" (p. 1) and on thinking "about how you are going to analyse the data before you collect them" (p. 4) Kent attempts to address the problems caused by using questionnaires as the 'quick fix' of social research methods. Because of this approach, issues are addressed in a different (in some cases the reverse) order compared to traditional textbooks. This, however, encourages researchers to think carefully about the kind of data they want to collect and whether a survey approach would be the most appropriate method to use.
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This is a really useful book for any researchers who are learning basic statistic concepts, or those with more experience in this area who would like a fuller understanding of probability and its importance in numeric analyses. It is written in a very accessible style and, for the most part, requires little in the way of mathematical knowledge. Important concepts are explained in a straightforward manner and related to everyday topics which will be familiar to most readers.
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page was last modified: 20th September 2004