Why are statistics important when studying Psychology?

Whilst thinking about my first blog I have considered different possibilities for a subject to write about that I would like to do more research on.  After much thought I have decided on the title of my first blog which will hopefully generate plenty of discussion and debate: ‘Why are statistics important when studying psychology?’

Whenever I have talked with others about matters relating to Psychology many people have made references to analysing people’s body language, their gestures and behaviours and so many people have suggested that Psychology is the study of analysing people and what they do but with the focus being on why people do what they do. This, of course, is true to a certain extent but in order to measure the different elements of psychology we need to use data and represent our findings in the form of statistics. Whenever we are conducting a research piece we can use both qualitative and quantitative methodologies to collect information and to determine findings that are accurate and complete. Some of the findings from quantitative research methods might be presented in statistical forms but it is without question that the findings from qualitative research need to be presented in the form of statistical data.

When doing research and finding out information on an area of interest the results need to be collected, processed and finalised into readable data.  The hypothesis can then be seen as accurate or inaccurate.

For example if you were to do a piece of comparative research on ‘How many children had learning difficulties in 3 different schools’?  You would need to collect data on how many children attended each school, how many children did have learning difficulties, and identify which learning difficulties they had.  All this information would have to then be collected and represented as statistics so that readers could have a clear idea about the outcome of the research.

Statistics are a vital part of Psychology and without them we would only have very limited ways of measuring and representing the findings of our research in ways that are clear and concise.