Welcome to Quant 1, as it's known to its friends. This part of the site covers Ian Walker's material, which focuses on research statistics. Knowledge of statistics is vital if we want to understand the world around us because variation is everywhere. Almost every time you look at the world, it is different. If you take two people and measure them somehow, they will provide two different scores. If you take a bank and assess it on two different occasions, it will provide two different measurements. In other words, the data you obtain in research always vary. In the social sciences we use statistics to cope with this variation. Essentially, we are interested in saying:

"Measurements vary all the time. How much of this variation is interesting? How much of it is caused by factors that interest us -- economic, psychological or social factors -- and how much of it is just 'random'?"

This part of the course will help you answer questions this way. Although it naturally covers the theory behind the tests, its focus is on giving you practical skills and the real ability to conduct analyses with data. The course is based around the popular SPSS software package and will introduce you to several key methods for analysing data in a hands-on fashion. By the end of the course you should be able to choose appropriate analyses for many situations and carry them out.