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The Essentials of Statistics: A Tool for Social Research 4th Edition

Joseph F. Healey

  • Published
  • Previous Editions 2013, 2010, 2007
  • 480 Pages
Starting At 76.00 See pricing and ISBN options


Framed in a student-friendly writing style, this text presents the essentials of statistics with an applied approach. Author Joseph Healey encourages skill development for statistical literacy, emphasizing computational competence and the ability to read social science literature with greater comprehension.

Joseph F. Healey, Christopher Newport University

Joseph F. Healey, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus of Sociology Christopher Newport University. He is author of STATISTICS: A TOOL FOR SOCIAL RESEARCH, 10th Edition (Cengage, 2014); RACE, ETHNICITY, GENDER AND CLASS, 7th Edition (Sage, 2015); DIVERSITY AND SOCIETY, 4th Edition (Sage, 2014); and is co-author of several other texts. Healey earned his A.B. and M.A. from The College of William and Mary (sociology and anthropology) and Ph.D. from University of Virginia (sociology and anthropology). In his spare time, he plays and records music for the hammer dulcimer and banjo.
  • Coverage of SPSS® is more prominent in this edition. Almost all chapters have new “Using SPSS” sections that illustrate how to produce the statistics covered in the chapter. SPSS problems have been added to the end-of-chapter problems throughout the text. In some chapters (e.g., Chapters 12 and 13), the SPSS problems replace problems using hand calculators.
  • For statistics that require complex computation-such as Pearson's r (Chapter 12) and partial correlation, multiple correlation, and regression (Chapter 13)-explanations and examples are now SPSS-based.
  • The data sets-which are used throughout the text in examples, in the new “Using SPSS” sections, in the end-of-chapter problems, and in the “You Are the Researcher” projects at the end of most chapters-have been expanded and updated. Available for downloading at the book's website, they include a General Social Survey (GSS) data set that has been updated to 2012, a data set that presents census and crime data on the 50 states, a data set with primarily demographic data for 99 nations, and a crime trends data set used for the graphing exercises in Chapter 2.
  • Former Chapters 11 and 12 have been combined into a single chapter (Chapter 11, “Bivariate Association for Nominal- and Ordinal-Level Variables”). This new chapter de-emphasizes phi and the mechanics of computation for gamma but still fully treats the analysis of association for variables organized in bivariate tables.
  • Chapter 2, “Basic Descriptive Statistics: Tables, Percentages, Ratios and Rates, and Graphs,” has been reorganized and now begins with frequency distributions.
  • Boxplots have been added to Chapter 4, “Measures of Dispersion.”
  • Further enhancing the practical focus of the text, all chapters now begin with a “Using Statistics” box that cites examples of how the statistics presented in the chapter can be applied to social research and to everyday life.
  • Numerous other changes have been made throughout the text to clarify explanations and make the material more accessible to students. For instance, titles have been added to all boxed features to clarify content and purpose. In addition, the “Becoming a Critical Consumer” inserts have been updated, and many have been shortened or broken into separate boxes. As with previous editions, the author's goal is to offer a comprehensive, flexible, and student-oriented book that provides a challenging first exposure to social statistics.
  • The General Social Survey data set has been updated to 2012 and two new data sets have been added for students to analyze: one for the U.S. states and an international data set with data for 99 nations.
  • The author has updated and increased the number of “Statistics in Everyday Life” features. These features demonstrate the application of statistical concepts by bringing interesting statistical findings to students' attention and asking questions that encourage students to think about the implications of these findings.
  • “One Step at a Time” features present at-a-glance computational procedures for each statistic, making it easy for students to get the right answers.
  • Problems Sets at the end of each chapter, organized progressively, help students develop problem-solving abilities gradually.
  • Learning Objectives, Chapter Summaries, Summaries of Formulas, and Chapter Glossaries provide students with tools to gain a clearer understanding of the concepts presented.
  • The “You are the Researcher” section, which follows the Problem Sets at the end of each chapter, requires students to use SPSS to analyze the 2012 General Social Survey.
  • The book includes numerous real-world examples that show the application of statistical concepts to everyday occurrences.
1. Introduction.
2. Basic Descriptive Statistics: Tables, Percentages, Ratios and Rates, and Graphs.
3. Measures of Central Tendency.
4. Measures of Dispersion.
5. The Normal Curve.
6. Introduction to Inferential Statistics, the Sampling Distribution, and Estimation.
7. Hypothesis Testing I: The One-Sample Case.
8. Hypothesis Testing II: The Two-Sample Case.
9. Hypothesis Testing III: The Analysis of Variance.
10. Hypothesis Testing IV: Chi Square.
11. Bivariate Association for Nominal- and Ordinal-Level Variables.
12, Association Between Variables Measured at the Interval-Ratio Level.
Aplia is an online learning solution that increases student engagement with automatically graded assignments and detailed explanations.

This Cengage solution can be seamlessly integrated into most Learning Management Systems (Blackboard, Brightspace by D2L, Canvas, Moodle, and more) but does require a different ISBN for access codes. Please work with your Cengage Learning Consultant to ensure the proper course set up and ordering information. For additional information, please visit the LMS Integration site.

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  • ISBN-10: 1305388593
  • ISBN-13: 9781305388598
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  • ISBN-10: 1337120774
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“Clear writing, organization, and explanations. I found that the textbook is one of the best I have read so far in terms of the clarity of explanations, particularly the difficult concepts and ideas.”

“The Essentials is one of the few actual textbooks I still use. The subject matter of research methods and statistics still requires it. This edition of Healey's book is a 'good' textbook because it is well written, follows a logical sequence within each chapter and from chapter to chapter, and students learn and build a foundation before they move onto the more difficult statistics.”

Cengage provides a range of supplements that are updated in coordination with the main title selection. For more information about these supplements, contact your Learning Consultant.


Online Instructor's Manual with Test Bank

ISBN: 9781305093843
This detailed manual provides sample syllabi, course guidelines, in-class exercises, and chapter objectives to assist instructors in teaching the course.

Online PowerPoint®

ISBN: 9781305093881
Helping you make your lectures more engaging while effectively reaching your visually oriented students, these handy Microsoft® PowerPoint® slides outline the chapters of the main text in a classroom-ready presentation. The PowerPoint slides are updated to reflect the content and organization of the new edition of the text.

Cengage Learning Testing, powered by Cognero Instant Access

ISBN: 9781305388642
Cengage Learning Testing Powered by Cognero® is a flexible, online system that allows you to: import, edit, and manipulate content from the text's test bank or elsewhere, including your own favorite test questions; create multiple test versions in an instant; and deliver tests from your LMS, your classroom, or wherever you want.