why are statistics necessary in psychology

Statistics are fundamental to the study of psychology as it forms the basis of the subjects’ science reputation. Without quantitative data there would be no analytical proof of findings- figures that can be put into graphs, analysed and so allow for a reliable and accurate conclusion that is backed up with proof.

However, statistics can be manipulated to give a more interesting and shocking result that fits in better with a hypothesis or theory. For example to show a certain pattern of behaviour that may not necessarily be there if a different statistical measurement was undertaken. This could mean that rather than being important to the research of psychology it may make it unreliable and undermine the study as a whole as the conclusions could be drawn off false results and information.

Despite this I feel that statistics are the pinnacle of research in psychology: without them psychology would be based purely on theory and would have no scientific base or solid foundation to weight the research. In addition to this, quantitative data is much easier to compare than qualitative data- statistics can be compared by methods such as graphs. Underwood(1949) researches into the experimental design: “I believe that the factual subject matter can be comprehended readily without a statistical knowledge, but a full appreciation of experimental design problems requires some statistical thinking”. From this I, whether or not you can try to get through experiments without statistics, it is still required somewhere or at some point in your research. For this reason psychology would not be the subject it is today and would not reach the findings it does without the use of statistics.