Most of us are familiar with the word â€˜averageâ€™. We regularly encounter statements like â€˜the average temperature in May was 4 Â°C below normalâ€™ or â€˜underground water reserves are currently above averageâ€™. The term average is used to convey the idea of an amount, which is standard; typical of the values involved. When we are faced with a set of values, the average should help us to get a quick understanding of the general size of the values in the set. The mean, median and mode are
Author(s): The Open University

Histograms are a special form of bar chart in which the bars usually touch each other because histograms always show data collected into â€˜groupsâ€™ along a continuous scale. They tend to be used when it's hard to see patterns in data, for example when there are only a few variables, or the actual amounts are spread over a wide range. For example, suppose you manufactured biscuits; it is important to manufacture closely to a given size, as there are regulations governing the sales of biscuit
Author(s): The Open University

The aim of this course has been to try to draw together work on numbers and text, and to try to be helpful to those who, like me, find numbers and statistics rather unapproachable. Evidence is used in social science to convince us of the value of a claim, and is a crucial element in our evaluation of theoretical perspectives.

As with numbers, we need to approach qualitative evidence systematically and with purpose, and not just assume we know what it means.

Author(s): The Open University

Examine in more detail the explanations surrounding the numbers or diagram. Check the small print to make sure you aren't drawing the wrong conclusions. Are the axes of diagrams clearly labelled, and do you understand what they mean? (Axes, pronounced â€˜axeaseâ€™ is the plural of axis. Axes are the vertical and horizontal lines against which lines on a graph or bars on a chart are plotted. They must be labelled to tell you what courses you are counting in.) If there is shading on the
Author(s): The Open University

Although we live in a society where a huge amount of information is available in the form of numbers, some of us still feel a mental fog descend when we are asked to deal with them. This is because numerical information is information in a very condensed and abstract form. A number on its own means very little. You have to learn to read it. Numeracy (the ability to work with numbers) is a skill that we can learn. It is a very useful skill, because it allows us to understand very quickly the <
Author(s): The Open University

Even when you have used your own words it is essential that you acknowledge the source of the ideas you re-present. This entails making a note of the author and date of publication of the material from which you extract key concepts and points. So at the end of our summary of the Croall extract above, we would need to acknowledge that we got our information from that source by putting (Croall, 1998) at the end of the relevant paragraph. If you use more than one author's work in a paragraph th
Author(s): The Open University

Reading and thinking requires you to begin to process the material you read in preparation for re-presenting it in assessments. Initially, processing happens in your head. Selecting what to identify and extract will start the process off. Summarizing the arguments continues this process and, crucially, gets you started on reproducing ideas in your own words. The next stage is to develop your notes further by thinking more consciously about the material you have read and the points you
Author(s): The Open University

In reading for a purpose it is not unusual to get stuck on unfamiliar words and concepts or struggle with complex ideas and sentences. This section suggests tactics for coping with unfamiliar words (and inadequate dictionaries), unpacking complex sentences and retrieving lost meanings. In order to do this we will draw on an extract taken from a book, Crime and Society in Britain, by Hazel Croall (1998) which is a social science text. It thus contains more â€˜conceptualâ€™ or â€˜technic
Author(s): The Open University

This course is about the very basic study skills of reading and taking notes. You will be asked to think about how you currently read and then be introduced to a some techniques that may help you to alter the way you read according to the material you are studying. In the second section you will be asked to look at some useful techniques for note taking and how you may apply them to the notes you make.

This OpenLearn course provides a sample of Level 1 study in Author(s): The Open University

Cannabis, Consciousness and the Imagination
We know drunk-driving causes death on the roads, but how does taking drugs like cannabis affect your driving skills? This album offers a chance to see how psychologists perform experiments which measure how much cannabis distorts a normal state of consciousness. Tracks 5-8 explore human inventiveness, pointing out that nothing in the world could have been made without the human capacity for imagination. Evolutionary anthropologists use the example of tool-making, showing that humans started to d
Author(s): The OpenLearn team

Identity In Question
This album Investigates recent debates in sociology, cultural theory and psychoanalysis, and explores the nature of social identity, â€˜socialisationâ€™, subjectivity and personhood. The case studies explore the value and relevance of different theoretical frameworks for understanding identity by applying the main concepts in real situations. The material is taken from The Open University course D853 Identity in question.Author(s): The OpenLearn team

Physical activity: a family affair
This free course, Physical activity: a family affair, aims to explore the effects that the family has on the amount and nature of physical activity a child participates in. The beliefs and behaviours of the family environment are the key psycho-social factors we investigate here. First published on Wed, 17 Feb 2016 as Author(s): Creator not set

Psychological research, obedience and ethics
In this free course, Psychological research, obedience and ethics, you will learn about the importance of ethics in research that is undertaken by psychologists. You will read about the famous study on obedience conducted by Stanley Milgram, and watch two psychologists talk about their research with meerkats and chimpanzees. Author(s): Creator not set

Mindfulness in mental health and prison settings
This free course, Mindfulness in mental health and prison settings, introduces the key ideas and practices of mindfulness, describes how it is helping counselling clients and prisoners, and also looks at some of the criticisms mindfulness has received in recent years. First published on Wed, 11 Apr 2018 as Author(s): Creator not set

These different methods alert us to the fact that psychology is not just one enterprise, but a series of interlocking enterprises in which psychologists have different views about the best ways to try to understand or explain people and their behaviour and experience. These are arguments about epistemology; that is, what questions to ask, what sort of evidence to look for, what sort of criteria to use to evaluate explanations, and what sort of methods to use.

All knowledge and al
Author(s): The Open University

The most commonly used psychological tests, such as intelligence tests and personality tests, are highly structured forms of self-report where participants have to solve problems or choose from fixed alternatives on a questionnaire. Researchers then work out a score for each participant that gives information about their intelligence or personality. These tests are different from ordinary questionnaires in the way they are constructed and pre-tested. They are tried out on large numbers
Author(s): The Open University

A second kind of data is people's inner experiences, including their feelings, beliefs and motives. These cannot be directly seen from the outside; they remain private unless freely spoken about or expressed in some other way. Examples of these inner experiences include feelings, thoughts, images, representations, dreams, fantasies, beliefs and motivations or reasons. These are only accessible to others via verbal or written reports or as inferred from behaviours such as non-verbal communicat
Author(s): The Open University

Psychology aims to provide understandings of us, as humans. At a personal level this closeness to our private concerns draws us in and excites us. However, since psychologists are humans, and hence are researching issues just as relevant to themselves as to their research participants, they can be attracted towards researching certain topics and maybe away from others. This is perhaps more evident for psychological research that is most clearly of social relevance. At a societal level all kin
Author(s): The Open University

## Activity 5

0 hours 20 minutes

This activity demonstrates how a simple correlation analysis can be carried out. Correlations tell us about the relationship between pairs of variabl
Author(s): The Open University