Research Methodology



Second Edition, January 2016 Revised 23 January 2017

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After a review of free statistics programs, and web sources for further study, the book begins by expanding on some of the basic concepts such data types and variables. Great emphasis is put on various easy ways of describing data. This must precede anything more sophisticated. The basic choice then is between the family of statistics which compares groups, and the family which studies associations or correlations. Only then, once these three major areas of statistics are mastered, students are ready for more detail in the choice of statistical test.


At this point the old statistics, with its emphasis on significance testing and the null hypothesis is presented, then thoroughly critiqued. The ‘New Statistics’ is presented. There is a detailed explanation of the base rate fallacy. Confidence intervals, Confidence levels, power, and effect size are explained.

Teaching time 10 -15 hours


Changes in Version 2.1,

Chapter 3  Types of data

+ Added comments concerning the average possible with Likert scales

+ Likert scale results with two peaks

Chapter 8

+ The discussion of correlations has been greatly improved, especially through more examples of scattergrams.

+ The Margin of Error for correlations receives full explanation, with visual helps

Chapter 14 Effect Size

+ Tidied up

+ Includes an introduction to z-scores




New pdf books. 12 July 2014 revised 22 July 2016


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This book is the only textbook for Second Language English speakers doing research. As such it is easy to read, thorough, and functions as the first book students need. It is based on over 20 years of teaching a course of 20-30 hours and has been extensively reviewed by hundreds of users. My students tell me the book has a little bit of everything, and touches many details completely missing from other textbooks. Science and Medical students writing a thesis in English (their second language) have also found it helpful.


Full version 1.1  


For the Table of Contents see here


There are many unique features about this textbook. See for example in Chapter 21 how to get research articles without needing the access codes!


New pdf book 12 July 2014 revised 15 July 2015 and 22 July 2016


Almost every book I have read on statistics is too difficult! This book bridges the gap.


Are you afraid of statistics? Do you find them hopelessly complicated? Then you have come to the right place: I agree with you! Here I present statistics for the ordinary person. Examples are taken from areas of ordinary life. Enjoy it! A feel for statistics begins with basic concepts behind the statistics and never gets harder than simple arithmetic. For far too long the mathematicians have confused us with complexity, whereas the real problems lie elsewhere. The course is presented as a series of key ideas. The absolute starting point is Key one - definitions. If these are not agreed upon, bye-bye statistics.


In Keys 10-16 the whole subject of ‘controls’ is discussed. Very few textbooks explain this and many people find it difficult. This is partly because ‘controls’ is in fact a cluster of concepts and by breaking it down, all is made clear.


Teaching time is about 10 hours.


Information for my students - Masters and PhD


1.  Revised October 2013. What supervisors expect from students

Why not discuss these two pages with your supervisor? Students should  learn what supervisors expect.  File: Expectations2.pdf


2.  The research proposal

Here you will find all you need to know for how to write a research proposal.

                        File: researchproposal3.pdf


3. Criteria for a Masters and a PhD thesis

This latest version takes into account recent changes in the MA


Table 1 is a table establishing what the different grades mean.

Table 2 is a detailed description of the thesis, explaining what is needed for a Masters or a PhD thesis.


Although it may look daunting at first sight, students now have a clear description with clear stated expectations.   File: thesiscriteria7.pdf