Why do statistics matter in psychology?

Assumption College Undergraduate

“Statistics … the most important science in the whole world: for upon it depends the practical application of every other science and of every art; the one science essential to all political and social administration, all education, all organization based upon experience, for it only gives the results of our experience.” – Florence Nightingale

People are often surprised to find their college statistics course falls under the psychology department. Often times, we associate statistics with mathematics, but really, when you think about it, statistics is a central part to the study of human behavior.

statistics and psychology The study of statistics is the practice or science of collecting and analyzing numerical data in large quantities, especially for the purpose of inferring proportions in a whole from those in a representative sample.

Assumption students take PSY 265 Statistics, where they gain a statistics foundation that will help them understand important concepts such as logical reasoning and describing, organizing and making inferences based upon data.

Psychologists rely upon statistics to help assess the meaning of everything they study. Understanding other important statistical concepts such as bias, measurement, representation, correlations, significance and others.

As a psychology student, no matter what you focus on — whether it’s counseling or clinical or research or other — you will rely on analyzing or recording data. And having a solid understanding of these concepts will better prepare you for the career of your choice, be it in psychology or another exciting field. Graduates with strong quantitative skills are in high demand.

The 2015 Best Jobs report by Career Cast, writes that the nation’s top job is an actuary, number two a mathematician, and a statistician falls at number four. An actuary is simply a statistician who specializes in the measurement of risk, using numbers to calculate likelihood of future events, most often for insurance companies. (Students interested in majoring in actuarial science can consult with the Chairperson of Assumption’s Mathematics department.)

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