SPSS answer

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SPSS answer

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Chapter 7: Answers

Task 1

Example: One of my pet hates is pop psychology books. Along with banishing Freud from all

bookshops, it is my vowed ambition to rid the world of these rancid putrefaction-ridden wastes

of trees. Not only do they give psychology a very bad name by stating the bloody obvious and

charging people for the privilege, but they are also considerably less enjoyable to look at than

the trees killed to produce them (admittedly the same could be said for the turgid tripe that I

produce in the name of education but lets not go there just for now!). Anyway, as part of my

plan to rid the world of popular psychology I did a little experiment. I took two groups of

people who were in relationships and randomly assigned them to one of two conditions. One

group read the famous popular psychology book Women are from Bras and men are from

Penis, whereas another group read Marie Claire. I tested only 10 people in each of these

groups, and the dependent variable was an objective measure of their happiness with their

relationship after reading the book. I didnt make any specific prediction about which reading

material would improve relationship happiness.

SPSS Output for the Independent t-test

Group Statistics

Relationship Happiness

Book Read

Women are from Bras, Men are from Penis

Marie Claire

N

10

10

Mean

20.0000

24.2000

Std. Deviation

4.10961

4.70933

Std. Error

Mean

1.29957

1.48922

Levene's Test for

Equality of Variances

F

Relationship

Happiness

Equal variances

assumed

Equal variances

not assumed

.491

Sig.

.492

Sig. (2-tailed)

-2.125

18

.048

-4.2000

1.97653

-8.35253

-.04747

-2.125

17.676

.048

-4.2000

1.97653

-8.35800

-.04200

df

Std. Error

Difference

95% Confidence

Interval of the

Difference

Lower

Upper

Mean

Difference

We know the value of t and the df from the SPSS output and so we can compute r as follows:

r=

=

2.1252

2.1252 +18

4.52

22.52

= 0.45

If you think back to our benchmarks for effect sizes this represents a fairly large effect (it is

just below 0.5the threshold for a large effect). Therefore, as well as being statistically

significant, this effect is large and so represents a substantive finding.

Interpreting and Writing the Result

When you report any statistical test you usually state the finding to which the test relates, and

then in parenthesis, report the test statistic (usually with its degrees of freedom), the

probability value of that test statistic, and more recently the American Psychological

association are, quite rightly, requesting an estimate of the effect size. To get you into good

habits early, well start thinking about effect sizes nowbefore you get too fixated on Fishers

magic 0.05. In this example we know that the value of t was 2.12, that the degrees of

freedom on which this was based was 18, and that it was significant at p = 0.048. This can all

be obtained from the SPSS output. We can also see the means for each group. Based on what

we learnt about reporting means, we could now write something like:

Page 1

8/13/2003

; On average, the reported relationship happiness after reading Marie-Claire (M =

24.20, SE = 1.49), was significantly higher than after reading Women are from Bras

and men are from Penis (M = 20.00, SE = 1.30) (t(18) = 2.12, p < .05, r = .45).

Task 2

Imagine Twaddle and sons, the publishers of Women are from Bras men are from penis, were

upset about my claims that their book was about as useful as a paper umbrella. They decided

to take me to task and design their own experiment in which participants read their book, and

this book (Field and Hole) at different times. Relationship happiness was measured after

reading each book. To maximize their chances of finding a difference they used a sample of

500 participants, but got each participant to take part in both conditions (they read both

books). The order in which books were read was counterbalanced and there was a delay of 6

months between reading the books. They predicted that reading their wonderful contribution to

popular psychology would lead to greater relationship happiness than reading some dull and

tedious book about experiments. The data are in Field&Hole.sav, analyse them using the

appropriate t-test.

SPSS Output

Paired Samples Statistics

Pair

1

Mean

20.0180

18.4900

Field & Hole

N

500

500

Std. Deviation

9.98123

8.99153

Std. Error

Mean

.44637

.40211

N

Pair

1

Penis & Field & Hole

Correlation

500

.117

Sig.

.009

Paired Differences

Mean

Pair

1

are from Penis - Field & Hole

1.5280

Std. Deviation

Std. Error

Mean

12.62807

.56474

95% Confidence

Interval of the

Difference

Lower

Upper

.4184

2.6376

df

2.706

499

Sig.

(2-tailed)

.007

We know the value of t and the df from the SPSS output and so we can compute r as follows:

r=

=

2.706 2

2.706 2 + 499

7.32

506.32

= 0.12

If you think back to our benchmarks for effect sizes this represents a small effect (it is just

above 0.1the threshold for a small effect). Therefore, although this effect is highly

statistically significant, the size of the effect is very small and so represents a trivial finding.

Interpreting and Writing the Result

In this example, it would be tempting for Twaddle and sons to conclude that their book

produced significantly greater relationship happiness than our book. In fact, many researchers

would write conclusions like this:

9

The results show that reading Women are from Bras, men are from Penis produces

significantly greater relationship happiness than that book by smelly old Field and Hole.

This result is highly significant.

Page 2

8/13/2003

However, to reach such a conclusion is to confuse statistical significance with the importance of

the effect. By calculating the effect size weve discovered that although the difference in

happiness after reading the two books is statistically very different, the size of effect that this

represents is very small indeed. So, the effect is actually not very significant in real terms. A

more correct interpretation might be to say:

9

The results show that reading Women are from Bras, men are from Penis produces

significantly greater relationship happiness than that book by smelly old Field and Hole.

However, the effect size was small revealing that this finding was not substantial in real

terms

Of course, this latter interpretation would be unpopular with Twaddle & sons who would like to

believe that their book had a huge effect on relationship happiness.

Page 3

8/13/2003

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