A lot of Psychology students are surprised and sometimes dismayed to realize that statistics courses are required for graduation in their chosen major (Cherry, 2019). She added that the statistics courses are a major part of virtually all Psychology programs because statistics plays an important part in the study of Psychology in determining the credibility of psychological research methods and results. However, despite the importance of mastering statistical skills in Psychology, there has been a tendency to dislike and even avoid number-associated statistics among college students (Slootmaeckers, Kerremans, & Adriaensen in Prayoga & Abraham, 2017). So, what exactly is statistics and why a lot of Psychology students hate statistics?
According to Gravetter and Wallnau (2013), statistics is a set of mathematical procedures for organizing, summarizing, and interpreting information with two general purposes including:
Statistics are used to organize and summarize the information so that the researcher can see what happened in the research study and can communicate the result to others.
Statistics help the research to answer the general questions that initiated the research by determining exactly what conclusions are justified based on the result that were obtained.
Although statistics courses provide many benefits, there are still many Psychology students who hate this course. In Indonesia, the main reasons students detest statistics are: they perceive the subject to be irrelevant and non-beneficial in studying Psychology, a lot of calculation has to be done and formulas remembered, and lessons are not interesting, boring and hard (Kurniati in Prayoga & Abraham, 2017).
All Psychology students must remember that Psychology is a science. Psychology is the science of behavior and mental processes (King, 2017). We need mathematics to assess the significance of the results obtained from experiments and research. If there were no statistics in Psychology, we wouldn't be able to know if the results we're observing are valid and reliable (Exploring Your Mind, 2018) because statistics allows us to make sense of and interpret a great deal of information (Cherry, 2019).
Case Study (from Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences, 9th edition): A psychologist is looking for the effect of watching television which contain violence with the level of aggressive in children. 25 children watch violent content on television and 25 children do not watch violent content on television. From that research, the psychologist gets 50 data of aggressive behaviour from the 50 children while they were playing. Then, what for is the data? This is a job for statistics. Statistical methods will provide our psychologist with a set of mathematical tools that can be used to organize and interpret the results from the research study (Gravetter & Wallnau, 2013).
Statistical procedures help to ensure that the information or observations are presented and interpreted in an accurate and informative way. In somewhat grandiose term, statistics help researchers bring order out of chaos. In addition, statistics provide researchers with a set of standardized techniques that are recognized and understood throughout the scientific community. Thus, the statistical methods used by one researcher are familiar to other researchers, who can accurately interpret the statistical analyses with a full understanding of how the analysis was done and what the results signify (Gravetter & Wallnau, 2013).