1.4 Using software in research

Many people use spreadsheets (such as Microsoft Excel) for analysis of data in research.

Using spreadsheets requires extreme care; many extremely expensive and dangerous errors have been made due to using spreadsheets (AlTarawneh and Thorne 2017), including problems when reporting the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic.

Problems may emerge for many different reasons:

Spreadsheets can be used for research and analysis… but you must be very careful!

Many of the problems with using spreadsheets are due to human error, but spreadsheets make the errors hard to find. Some errors emerge because Excel is being used for purposes it is not really designed for (i.e., scientific analysis).

In this course, we will sometimes show output from the statistical software packages jamovi (The jamovi Project) and SPSS (IBM Corp 2016).


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