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stemnyjones's avatar

Where can I find statistical studies related to psychology online, or what book would I be able to find this in?

Asked by stemnyjones (3969points) November 20th, 2010

For my college statistics class, I must find a statistical study related to my major (psychology) and break it down by listing what the population is, what the sample population is, what the parameters of interest are, etc.

However, all of the statistics I am finding are very vague. An example: 2.1 million people, or 1% of the population has schizophrenia. With this statement alone, I cannot tell how big the sample size was, etc.

Does anyone know where I can get a DETAILED report of a statistical observation related to psychology?

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13 Answers

Lightlyseared's avatar

I would be looking in your school library in journals related to psychology. For example in the latest issue of the British Journal of Psychology there are several articles that would provide you with the data you require.

janbb's avatar

Yup – college library databases are the way to go. “PsycArticles”, “PubMed” or “Academic Seacrh Premier” are three databases that cover psychology journals. Limit your search to “scholarly journals’ or “peer-reviewed” and you should be fine. Use the search terms “schizophrenia” and “statistics” or whatever the name of the disorder you are looking for is.

LuckyGuy's avatar

There is a great example in the book “Freakonomics” by Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt. They look at massively large databases and extract information using statistical methods.
My favorite is the example of dating and what people look for in a partner. Dubner and Levitt looked at dating sites (I forget which., Cupid. etc.) and collected data on ~75,000,000 matches (it might be 90 million) and whether they were “successful” or not. Did the participants rate the date successful? Did they go back to the fish pond for another try? Did they go on a second date?

In their profile, women said things like: the most important characteristics in a man were things like personality, sense of humor, likes walks in the park, etc. Men said similar things. But when the data from 75 million dates was reviewed and correlated, the results were surprising. For women, which factor had by far the strongest correlation for a successful match? The man’s income! Yep! Income. It was more important than weight, height, age, anything! “Walks in the park” were not even on the list.
For men, which factor had the highest correlation to a successful date? The woman’s body weight. Next was income. They even figured out how much 10 pounds was worth in the woman’s income. (I think it was ~$50,0000. Meaning the heavier woman had to earn $50K a year more than her thinner counterpart to get the same success rate. Hey, at least guys weren’t totally one dimensional!)
You might not like the answers but with ~75 million matches they make a good psychological case. They present the data, list the sources, explain the analysis.
You can even repeat the tests yourself in class.
I guarantee yours will be the most interesting paper of the bunch.

iamthemob's avatar

I’m just going to throw my hat in and point out, in the slim chance that it’s not clear, that what you were finding initially weren’t just vague – they also weren’t really statistics. They were percentages. A claim that 1% of the population has schizophrenia is more than likely based on a group that includes everyone in the population – the number of people with X characteristic is a pretty basic measurement.

But no statistical analysis has been applied to the numbers, and as it measures percentages, and no sample was taken, it doesn’t demonstrate any links as statistics are meant to do.

Sorry if this was unnecessary – it’s just one of the most frustrating things I see these days is the media and politicians, etc., referring to percentages as “statistics”.

crazyivan's avatar

I can’t imagine this is exactly what you’re looking for, but I had a blast with it.

Oh and @iamthemob, congrats on 10,000+!

the100thmonkey's avatar

I love this study!

There’s lots of analysis of quantitative data in the paper too.

stemnyjones's avatar

Wow, thank all of you so much. I was just fighting with my partner about her watching the baby while I go to the library.. you just made it all that much easier :)

stemnyjones's avatar

@the100thmonkey Fuck, the article must be from the year 2000 or later. Your article is from 1999.

And @marinelife, apparently I need an entire dataset.

Edit; Largely because of @the100thmonkey, I have found link article. Thanks so much!

LuckyGuy's avatar

The Matsumoto and Willingham paper on facial expressions in congenitally blind individuals is interesting, but not nearly as cool Levitt and Dubners dating analysis. However, it does have everything you need.
After you finish your assignment, see if you can get a copy of Freakonomics from the library and read that one chapter. It sure was an eye opening read.

stemnyjones's avatar

I was interested in the dating analysis, except I needed something I could find on the internet, since I won’t be able to make it to the library on time.

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