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Interpreting Quantitative Data

Interpreting Quantitative Data

First Edition

January 2002 | 192 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
How do quantitative methods help us to acquire knowledge of the real world? What are the `do's' and `don'ts' of effective quantitative research?

This refreshing and accessible book provides students with a novel and useful resource for doing quantitative research. It offers students a guide on how to: interpret the complex reality of the social world; achieve effective measurement; understand the use of official statistics; use social surveys; understand probability and quantitative reasoning; interpret measurements; apply linear modelling; understand simulation and neural nets; and integrate quantitative and qualitative modelling in the research process.

Jargon-free and written with the needs of students in mind, the book will be required reading for students interested in using quantitative research methods.

Interpreting the Real and Describing the Complex
Why We Have to Measure

The Nature of Measurement
What We Measure and How We Measure

The State's Measurement
The Construction and Use of Official Statistics

Measuring the Complex World
The Character of Social Surveys

Probability and Quantitative Reasoning
Interpreting Measurements
Exploring, Describing and Classifying

Linear Modelling
Clues as to Causes

Coping with Non-Linearity and Emergence
Simulation and Neural Nets

Qualitative Modelling
Issues of Meaning and Cause


Very interesting read and useful for improving skills in quantitative methods.

Dr Maria Pampaka
Social Science, Univ. of Manchester
September 10, 2015

A very interesting book for those who want to specialise in qualitative data analysis.

Dr Pete King
School of Human and Health Science, Swansea University
February 23, 2015

This is a good book on interpreting, rather than simply creating, statistics. It raises awareness of the difficulties in interpreting data when, for example, variables have been deleted or, at a more advanced level, structural equation modeling has been used. A very useful reference work for people who need to work with statistics at all levels.

Dr Antje Cockrill
School of Business, University of Wales, Trinity St David
December 10, 2014

This is a useful text but rather too detailed for undergraduate students. I will, however, recommend it as supplementary reading to Masters' Level students.

Mrs Yvette Winnard
Allied Health and Medicine, Anglia Ruskin University
February 4, 2014

David Byrne's book provides a useful theoretical/descriptive approach to the subject, usefully bridging the gap between the nuts and bolts stage of doing statistics and the way the "knowledge" is subsequently (ab)used in society. While some students will dismiss statistics out of hand (through terror of maths, usually), those who do get hooked, on the other hand, often become seduced by the seemingly awesome and indisputable importance of their "objective" numerical outputs. This book should convince both camps that numbers can indeed tell us useful things about the world, but that without a solid interpretation they are fairly worthless.
There is probably too much detail here for my introductory course in quantitative research, but particularly the first six chapters contain much material that is useful for this level. The chapters are of manageable size and contain pertinent examples from the social sciences.

Dr Phil Mason
Urban Studies, Glasgow University
December 15, 2010

I shall recommend this for a Masters programme, rather than the undergraduate programme I initially thought to use it with. The style and philosophy of the text is more suited to those students applying statistics to Sport at M-level

Dr Beverley Hale
Sport and Exercise Science, Chichester University
July 22, 2010

This is a really useful and interesting application of quantitative methods that I have recommended to my students. Given the general focus of the course on social research perspectives I cannot recommend it as essential reading as it only covers a couple of lectures / seminars. For those students wanting to explore quantitative data further through their MA's I have no hesitation in recommending this as both accessible and thought-provoking.

Dr Jonathan Wistow
School of Applied Social Sciences, Durham University
December 4, 2009

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