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Re: st: Intro social science stats book

From   Richard Williams <>
Subject   Re: st: Intro social science stats book
Date   Fri, 30 Jun 2006 15:40:28 -0500

At 12:55 PM 6/30/2006, you wrote:
This fall I'll be teaching an intro stats course to
undergraduates in sociology and other social sciences.
 I'm beginning to search around for the elusive
perfect textbook and I'm wondering if folks have
suggestions.  I'm looking for a book that emphasizes
intuition about statistics and their proper use rather
than a mathematically-oriented one that focuses on
deriving the formulas.  In my ideal world, the book
would provide Stata examples, but that seems to be a
rare occurance. Why do so many books provide SPSS

thanks for your suggestions,

I don't know that they could be standalone texts, but two books that might be good Stata supplements are Acock's "A gentle introduction to Stata" and Hamilton's "Statistics with Stata." Info on these and other Stata books can be found at

As far as why there are so many SPSS books, I imagine it is because SPSS is a lot older and bigger bigger company (although big does not necessarily equal better!) I used SPSS for over 25 years before I even heard of Stata, and I am sure there are many others like me. My incoming grad students have almost all used SPSS as undergrads and usually have little or no familiarity with Stata. People don't change very easily, and for an Intro Stats class sticking with SPSS will be quite tempting for many people.

Richard Williams, Notre Dame Dept of Sociology
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