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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Christopher J Graver, PhD, ABPP-CN(Madigan Healthcare System)
Description: Statistics are crucial to analyzing, understanding, and presenting scientific data, but they are also complex, confusing, and prone to misrepresentation. This book explores statistical concepts in relation to the field of neuropsychology.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a simple, conceptually straightforward explanation of statistical analyses.
Audience: Although specifically targeted at neuropsychologists, the statistical concepts would be useful to anyone in the social sciences or medicine. The author has written on this topic previously, and pulls previous knowledge into this handy book.
Features: At less than 100 pages, this is a short, concise book on the topic. It begins with a review of psychometric concepts and statistical assumptions before delving into specific statistical methods. Each chapter is well organized, brief, and practical. The book lays out the major steps involved in the analysis, then educates and provides guidance to help readers work through the analysis in relatively simple, but effective terms. In addition to examples, a bit of humor at times helps to make the material more palatable. Although this will not serve as an instructional guide to statistics for novices, it can be a simple way to review for readers whose statistics classes were several years or even decades past. My only complaint is that the book could have provided more detail for some of the junction points in decision-making for a particular test (e.g., when to use PCA versus maximum likelihood). This would help readers get entirely through the analysis without adding much to the book's length.
Assessment: This useful overview of common statistical methods in neuropsychology and related fields contains practical guidance for carrying out the analyses that will best serve readers familiar with statistics, but not immersed in them on a daily basis.