Chapter 9 Interpreting Your Results

Although we have dedicated an entire chapter to interpreting the results of a data analysis, interpretation is actually happening continuously throughout an analysis. Experienced data analysts may not even be aware of how often they are interpreting their findings because it has become second nature to them.

By now the 3 step epicyclic process of: setting expectations, collecting information (data), and then matching expectations to the data, should be very familiar to you, so you will recognize that the third step, matching expectations to the data, is itself interpretation. In some ways, we have addressed the topic of interpreting results throughout the book. However, it deserves its own chapter because there is much more to interpretation than matching expectations to results and because it is, in and of itself, a major step of data analysis. Because interpretation happens most deliberately after completing your primary and supportive analyses, including formal modeling, but before communicating results, we have placed this chapter in between these respective chapters.