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Moravian College
Dana S. Dunn

Statistics and Data Analysis for the Behavioral SciencesStatistics and Data Analysis for the Behavioral Sciences


Moravian College professor, Dana Dunn recently authored a book—Statistics and Data Analysis for the Behavioral Sciences (McGraw-Hill, 2001)—which was published at the end of August. Based on Dunn’s 12 years of teaching statistics at Moravian, the book combines the quantitative aspects of statistics with written explanations of what the results of statistical tests mean in ways that students will understand, learn from, and adopt in their studies. Dunn wrote the book for psychology students, as well as students in sociology, education, and other social-behavioral science disciplines.

The book's 15 chapters teach the theory behind statistics and the analysis of numerical data through a practical, hands-on approach. The book’s cover design, fonts, and many of the graphics are based on the American Arts and Crafts style, a feature meant to render the often-forbidding topic of statistics more accessible. There are 6 Appendices, one of which gives students a refresher on basic math and algebra, and discusses ways to overcome math anxiety. Other Appendices introduce qualitative (non-math based) approaches to research, teach students how to conduct an independent research project using statistics, and advise them about writing research papers incorporating statistical information. By reading the book, students learn the "how to" side of working with data—how to select an appropriate test, how to collect data for research, how to perform calculations in a step-by-step manner, how to be intelligent consumers of statistical information, and how to write-up and report results in the style used by professional psychologists and other researchers/educators. To emphasize the real utility of statistics, chapters open with "decision trees" regarding using concepts and end with concrete project exercises designed to illustrate key concepts. Most projects allow students to conduct research on their own lives to draw personalized meaning from statistics.

The book is supported by a website, as well as ancillary works designed to help students and faculty use ideas presented in the text. Dr. Suzanne Mannes, a cognitive psychologist who teaches at the University of Delaware, wrote a Student Study Guide, an Instructor’s Manual, and a Test-Bank based on Dunn’s book. Statistics and Data Analysis for the Behavioral Sciences builds on themes and pedagogical strategies Dunn developed for his earlier research methods book, The Practical Researcher: A Student Guide to Conducting Psychological Research (McGraw-Hill, 1999).