The problem with statistics - 3 Tips to remember when writing your thesis
Let me explain the fundamental reason for writing my first book: medical statistics made easy.
The knowledge in statistics is important, but it doesn’t last for long in people’s heads!
According to the numbers, statistics is the least favourite subject to study at universities. I mean, at every university. Ninety-nine percent of people hate these classes and just want to get over it as fast as possible.
It doesn’t matter where we go, this branch of science will probably accompany you for minimum one semester, and it will put our mathematical and analytical skill to the test.
Imagine a huge cake. That is mathematics. Well, within maths, we can talk about algebra, equations, and so many other monstrosities that I’m not going to list here.
Statistics is only a tiny slice of that cake. Medical statistics - the one that I studied - is an even tinier one.
When I first tutored Steven, my Norwegian student in the subject, I didn’t recognise the value of this knowledge. He was the person who assured me that the curriculum places a lot of emphasis on making people memorise tonnes of information, but the thing is, it fades away in time.
After a while, when it comes to writing a thesis five years later, the person who studied statistics stares at the blank excel page, or is sitting in front of the research plans, not knowing where to start the whole work. Looking for the notes he or she made five years ago seems one hell of an activity. So, what can we turn to?
- Lecture slides full of x-s,y-s and z-s.
On the other hand, studying stats can be pragmatic, too. For example we may not play the lottery any more if we knew that we are more likely to be struck by a lightning bolt than to win the lottery. When you want a helping hand on how to carry on statistical tests in medicine, you may want to consider my book.
If you read it, you will:
- Have access to my private YouTube videos which show you how to do the tests in Microsoft Excel. You can review them anytime you want to, they come with the book and last forever.
- Have a point-to-point explanation on how to use the most frequent statistical methods in medicine
- Have a 99.9% chance of understanding what you read in that book, as there are no equations or terrific mathematical symbols in the book.
Lastly, I want to write three steps to get started with the statistical part of your thesis:
- Select your statistical software?
- There are three of them that I recommend: GraphPad Prism, Microsoft Excel, and IBM’s SPSS. There are some differences in them, especially in where to find the different functions and buttons, and also, the way and place of setting the various parameters you want to determine can vary.
- Choose the kinds of data you are going to collect!
- Take a look at the plans of your thesis. Take a look at how you are going to collect your variables. Are they normally distributed or not? If you don’t know, no problem. All these programmes are able to do a normality test for you to find out what kind of numbers you are dealing with. I highly recommend GraphPad Prism for this
- Finally, carry out and interpret your results!
- You don’t have to use all the fancy functions that are available in that specific programme. Choose the ones that highlight your results. The ones that emphasise the difference between the sick and the healthy group. For example, when you do a T2-test, you don’t need to use a box plot with the confidence intervals. A simple chart with the 95% confidence intervals is enough. .
That was all I wanted to share with you in this post. I’m Dávid Juhász, and if you found this post of mine interesting, feel free to browse my webpage, and order my book if you think it can help you pass your exam or to get through the stats part of your essay, or thesis.