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July 16 , 2008

Empirical Direction in Design and Analysis


The goal of Norman H. Anderson's new book is to help students develop skills of scientific inference. To accomplish this he organized the book around the "Experimental Pyramid" – six levels that represent a hierarchy of considerations in empirical investigation – conceptual framework, phenomena, behavior, measurement, design, and statistical inference. To facilitate conceptual and empirical understanding, Anderson de-emphasizes computational formulas and null hypothesis testing. Other features include:
*emphasis on visual inspection as a basic skill in experimental analysis to help students develop an intuitive appreciation of data patterns;
*exercises that emphasize development of conceptual and empirical application of methods of design and analysis and de-emphasize formulas and calculations; and
*heavier emphasis on confidence intervals than significance tests.

The book is intended for use in graduate-level experimental design/research methods or statistics courses in psychology, education, and other applied social sciences, as well as a professional resource for active researchers. The first 12 chapters present the core concepts graduate students must understand. The next nine chapters serve as a reference handbook by focusing on specialized topics with a minimum of technicalities.
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