Improvise, adapt, understand why: Statistics
Believe me, most of us have felt the exact same way you might feel right now. You are in the beginning of your psychology studies and eager to learn everything there is about psychology, just like I was. I was passionate about the way individuals, inhabiting planet earth, think and behave and I was keen to explore the phenomena they bring with them. This is the reason why I chose to study psychology. Eager to plunge into the world of psychology with all its amazing, mind-blowing findings, I began my studies. As a naïve first semesters I, eventually, discovered something odd in the curriculum. In black and white font there it was written: statistics I. Excuse me? Cold sweat ran down my back. Did I miss something? Did I accidentally enrol to another study plan? No, I was enrolled in psychology all right. I remembered the few things I knew about psychology. Classical conditioning, rats, reinforcement, Freud, Oedipus complex and some other things. Where would numbers and figures fit in? I couldn’t believe it and gradually, I began to doubt my choice. I would have thoughts like: Is psychology really the right thing? Should I better choose a subject that won’t incorporate any statistics, or maths in general? Maybe I should just switch it from my major to my minor? But let me tell you something, some of us have followed those suggestions made by our lazy, biased minds, but most of us haven’t. I’m glad I haven’t because now I can reap the rewards. Sure, it was not all fun and games learning the formulas and the lingo, but once I did I found myself understanding much, much more. Reading through a research paper now is very different than when I started my studies. I actually understand what they are trying to say in their results and discussion parts. Statistics is not as amazing and mind blowing as other subjects of psychology, such as neuropsychology or social psychology, but it is a vital tool to not only understand, but also work professionally and successfully within the field of psychology. So, what does statistics give you? A headache, countless hours of procrastination and definitely a deepened understanding of psychology. Without statistics it would be very hard determining whether a finding is important, significant, or whether a person is below or above average. It is necessary. All those mind-blowing findings in psychology wouldn’t be mind-blowing at all because without statistics you couldn’t see where the significance lies.