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Price: $99.95

Paperback 504 pp.
85 figures; 21 tables; 5 screenshots; 4 photos, 8" x 10"



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Imprint: OUP Canada

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Understanding Social Statistics

A Student's Guide to Navigating the Maze

Lance W. Roberts, Jason Edgerton, Tracey Peter and Lori Wilkinson

Accessible and illuminating, this text is both a map and toolkit for successfully navigating the maze of social statistics. A five-step learning model, applied to each statistical technique, introduces key concepts in plain language; explains how to perform calculations manually; provides specific descriptions of how to use statistical software such as SPSS; offers practice questions to solidify understanding; and gives guidance on interpreting results.

Readership : Understanding Social Statistics is aimed at second- and sometimes third-year introductory statistics courses in sociology departments at universities and colleges.


  • "The textbook's major strengths lie in its detailed explanations, step-by-step examples, and solid integration of SPSS examples into the text. . . . It really helps to show students how to do calculations by hand and with the use of computing software."
    --Michelle Maroto, University of Alberta

  • "I applaud the focus on calculations. . . . I also like the overall organization and the pace."
    --Jean Andrey, University of Waterloo

Part One: General Orientation
1. The Location and Limits of Quantitative Analysis
2. The Logic of Social Statistics
3. Calculations and Computers
Part Two: Univariate Analysis
4. Introducing Univariate Analysis
5. Measures of Central Tendency
6. Measures of Dispersion
7. Charts and Graphs
8. The Normal Curve
Part Three: Bivariate Analysis
9. Understanding Relationships
10. Bivariate Tables
11. Scatterplot Analysis
12. Proportional Reduction in Error Statistics
13. Statistics for Categorical Relationships
14. Statistics for Continuous Connections
Part Four: Multivariate Analysis
15. Taking Additional Variables into Account
16. The Elaboration Model
17. Multiple Regression
Part Five: Sampling and Inference
18. Samples and Populations
19. Point Estimates, Confidence Intervals, and Confidence Levels
20. Hypothesis Testing
21. Various Significance Tests
Epilogue: A Few Final Words
Appendix A: Chi-Square Table
Appendix B: The Student's t-Table
Appendix C: Areas Under the Normal Curve
Answer Key

Instructor's Manual:
For each chapter:
Chapter overview
Key concepts
Additional practice questions
PowerPoint slides:
Lecture outlines slides
Test Generator:
For each chapter:
30-40 multiple choice questions
20-25 true-or-false questions
10 short answer questions
Student Study Guide:
For each chapter:
Chapter overview
Key concept flashcards
Interactive practice quizzes
Companion Website:
Solutions manual for in-text practice questions
- Includes the steps involved for arriving at the answer
- Hand calculations and computer solutions are both shown
Guide to SPSS syntax
E-Book (ISBN 9780199001019)

Lance W. Roberts is a professor in the sociology department and a fellow of St. John's College at the University of Manitoba. For more than three decades he has taught undergraduate and graduate methods and statistics courses and is the author of several books and dozens of journal articles on topics related to social trends, ethnic relations, education, and inequality. He has co-authored the lab manuals the Statistics Coach and the Methods Coach for OUP Canada.

Jason Edgerton's doctoral thesis at the University of Manitoba, on class and gender disparities in academic achievement, reflects his areas of specialization in research methods, social inequality, stratification, class and power, globalization, comparative social policy, sociology of education and work, race/ethnicity and immigration, and social determinants of health. He has written, published, and presented a number of papers in these areas and currently teaches research methods in the sociology department at the University of Manitoba.

Tracey Peter is an assistant professor in the sociology department at the University of Manitoba. Her areas of specialization include data analysis and syntax programming, skills she advanced during her tenure as a research associate and programming manager with a nationally based evaluation research company. She currently teachers undergraduate and graduate courses in research methods and statistics and is working on several projects in mental health and violence, suicide prevention, education, and immigration. With Lance Roberts she co-authored the OUP Canada manuals the Statistics Coach and the Methods Coach.

Lori Wilkinson is an associate professor of sociology at the University of Manitoba and currently teaches ethnic relations, Canadian society and culture, and research methods. Her area of specialization centres on understanding the integration experiences of migrant youth in Canada as well as the labour market experiences of immigrant women and pedagogical research into new classroom technology. Lori is the Canadian adaptor of Bouma/Ling/Wilkinson, The Research Process, now in its second edition.

Intermediate Social Statistics - Robert Arnold
SPSS Virtual Teaching Assistant - Hannah Scott
The Statistics Coach - Lance W. Roberts, Tracey Peter and Karen Kampen
Simple Statistics - Terance D. Miethe and Jane Florence Gauthier

Special Features

  • A proven five-step learning approach provides a predictable structure to each chapter that will guide students through learning the basics of statistics.
  • A conversational, reader-friendly narrative helps students overcome the confusion and disorientation many feel when studying statistics for the first time.
  • Practice problems and exercises give students the opportunity to actively hone their skills using hand calculations as well as computer software to analyze and interpret data.
  • Two professional technical checks by a statistical expert ensure accuracy in all key concepts and exercises.
  • An end-of-book answer key for the hand-calculation practice questions in the text helps students track their progress. Answers to the in-text SPSS practice questions can be found on the companion website.
  • Guide to frequently used formulas on the inside front and back covers provide a quick-reference for students.