12/1/21, 1:07 PMStatistical Thinking – PSYC 100: Principles of Psychology F211/225. Statistical ThinkingOriginal chapter by Beth Chance and Allan Rossman adapted by the Queen’sUniversity Psychology DepartmentThis Open Access chapter was originally written for the NOBA project.Information on the NOBA project can be found below.We encourage students to use the “Three-Step Method” for support in theirlearning. Please ±nd our version of the Three-Step Method, created in collabo-ration with Queen’s Student Academic Success Services, at the following link:As our society increasingly calls for evidence-based decision making, it is im-portant to consider how and when we can draw valid inferences from data.This module will use four recent research studies to highlight key elements ofa statistical investigation.
12/1/21, 1:07 PMStatistical Thinking – PSYC 100: Principles of Psychology F212/22Learning ObjectivesDe±ne basic elements of a statistical investigation.Describe the role of p-values and con±dence intervals in statisticalinference.Describe the role of random sampling in generalizing conclusions from asample to a population.Describe the role of random assignment in drawing cause-and-effectconclusions.Critique statistical studies.IntroductionDoes drinking coffee actually increase your life expectancy? A recent study (Freedman, Park, Abnet, Hollenbeck, & Sinha, 2012) found that men whodrank at least six cups of coffee a day had a 10% lower chance of dying(women 15% lower) than those who drank none. Does this mean you shouldpick up or increase your own coffee habit?Modern society has become awash in studies such as this; you can read aboutseveral such studies in the news every day. Moreover, data abound everywherein modern life. Conducting such a study well, and interpreting the results ofsuch studies well for making informed decisions or setting policies, requiresunderstanding basic ideas of statistics, the science of gaining insight fromdata. Rather than relying on anecdote and intuition, statistics allows us to sys-tematically study phenomena of interest.