Friday, October 09, 2015

"I was living, in short, on the edge of a landscape of vast shame."

Like the head of Hitler studies in DeLillo (1985) who didn't actually know German, I'm a language tester who doesn't actually know statistics. Oh, yeah, I can work out median scores, percentages, and correlations in Excel. But I can't get down to the real nitty-gritty of it, and I don't have any of the underlying algebraic abilities. 

I say, "don't have", but like the protagonist of White Noise, I'm working on it. The need became acute when I found Zhang (2014) was researching in one of my fields of interest, and had run analyses of his data which I really need to do on mine. 

So, this morning I'll be mostly working with Professor Graham (2013) learning about regression and its attendant scattergraphs. Already, before the second cup of coffee this morning, I've gotten my head around slopes and intercepts. 

And yesterday afternoon I found that Excel won't actually do regression on its own, it needs a little help from StatPlus, which is free for 30 days, but looks as if it's going to cost £60 in due course.  Heigh ho. 

I'm also pleased to note that it's easier to get into the habit of referencing everything than it was when I did the MA and typed it all in myself. Cite This For Me takes most of the tedium out of the process. 


DeLillo, D. (1985). White Noise. New York, NY:Viking.  [retrieved 2015.10.09]

Graham, A. (2013) Statistics: A complete introduction. London: Hodder. 

Zhang, H. S. (2014). Morphological Awareness in Vocabulary Acquisition Among Chinese‐Speaking Children: Testing Partial Mediation via Lexical Inference Ability. Reading Research Quarterly50(1), 129-142.