Surviving Statistics

PSY-310: Applied Statistics & Behavioral Methods, is the first and last class I’ll take with Dr. Lauren Brewer. The newest member of C of I’s Psychology faculty, I first met Dr. Brewer last spring as she was interviewing for her position at the College. In the first few lectures of the class, her passion for statistics as a tool to help scientists answer questions has come across strongly.  

I took the Introduction to Statistics class the fall of my freshman year. It wasn’t one of my highlights by any means.  As a freshman I took the class because I knew it was a prerequisite (or hurdle) that I had to jump over, in order to get into the classes I wanted to take. I was viewing it as just another math class that I'd learned to dread in high school. Appropriately, this attitude I held translated into a C on my transcript and a deficit in one of the fundamental skills of my discipline.

During my junior year, I had to retrace a lot of steps to catch up on some of the concepts I should’ve understood all along.  But as I pursued independent research under my advisor, I began to enjoy learning how to apply these skills in my work. For this reason, I’m excited that one of my last classes as a Yote undergrad will take me back into the classroom to confront this former demon.

Psychology is a data-driven science, so we've been collecting answers to a survey that we drafted together as a class. Over this week we'll be entering data we've collected into SPSS so we can analyze real responses as we cover methods in class. All of us are at varying skill levels when it comes to working with data, but I'm happy to have a structured environment to get back into this tricky aspect of my major. But most of all, I've learned to appreciate the rewards of these skills and it's good to have an instructor who echoes that. 

-Andrew Moore

Andrew is a senior psychology major from Boise, Idaho.