Author Interview: Edward T. Vieira, Jr

We caught up with Edward T. Vieira, Jr. to discuss his exciting new textbook, Introduction to Real World Statistics. Read on for our exclusive interview with Ed and to find out more about his excellent new textbook and how it be can applied in your classroom.

"Introduction to Real World Statistics is a useable and useful way to learn real world statistics."

Edward T. Vieira, Jr. is Professor of Marketing and Statistics, Research Director, and member of the Institutional Review Board at Simmons College, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. He earned his M.B.A from Bryant University and Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut. Currently, Dr. Vieira serves on the editorial boards of seven peer-reviewed journals providing statistical and methodological expertise. He has over 30 years of management, research, and consulting experience in areas such as marketing research, community outreach focus groups, organizational research, and education evaluation research.

Introduction to Real World Statistics

With Step-by-Step SPSS Instructions

Introduction to Real World Statistics provides students with the basic concepts and practices of applied statistics, including data management and preparation; an introduction to the concept of probability; data screening and descriptive statistics; various inferential analysis techniques; and a series of exercises that are designed to integrate core statistical concepts.

Being a positivist and perhaps a neopositivist, I believe that the world is mathematical and thus can be explained in mathematical terms. This is especially relevant today. Technology provides a great deal of data at our fingertips that allow for so much data-driven decision-making potential. We need more individuals trained in statistical analysis and analytics in order to make more effective and better decisions. We have the data, now what do they mean? The quantitative researcher is in an excellent position to effectively answer such questions. 

It is my hope that Introduction to Real World Statistics will inspire individuals to study statistics and all its pragmatic wonders.

My years of teaching applied statistics; quantitative analysis; research methods; marketing research, and educational research led me to write Introduction to Real World Statistics in an understandable voice. Arguably, statistics books expend space covering statistical formulas and topics that are relatively not easily usable by introductory students or practitioners. The level of detail often becomes overwhelming and the student experiences a loss of interest. This book focuses on constructing a foundation of understanding where the student practitioner can simply learn and use statistical tools to address real world challenges throughout the book without learning formulae or unnecessary details.

Introduction to Real World Statistics is a user-friendly book designed to teach students or practitioners the fundamentals of applied statistics. 

The text does not emphasize formulas, but the practical hands-on usage of statistics as a tool for improving decision-making through knowledge discovery. Each chapter contains a 'Real World Snapshot' of statistics applied in a concrete manner related to the chapter topic. The book covers the specific steps required to run an analysis using SPSS as demonstrated through a number of real life examples across many fields of study. The book systematically discusses most basic statistics procedures and notes others so that the reader can further explore additional statistical options. Additionally, end-of-chapter applied exercises and answer keys are provided as well as real world case studies and answer keys in the appendices. Online resources consist of PowerPoint slides for each chapter as well as the complete datasets for all examples in the chapter, end-of-chapter exercises, and case studies.

Additionally, the appendices contain information about study designs, research goals and objectives, more information about regression, and a number of other common statistical procedures. In short, the book provides a “handbook” range of how-to information about basic statistics. It makes use of different teaching and learning opportunities that will engage students because they are practical, relatable, concrete, and understandable.

The book includes an instructor test bank with questions in various formats; chapter PowerPoints; datasets and answer keys for chapter examples, end-of-chapter exercises, and case studies; real world snapshots in every chapter; SPSS detailed steps for running analyses; and additional information about quantitative research located in the appendix. 

Although my book provides a general conceptual framework including some light mathematical formulas, the emphasis is on applying statistics. In most cases, students or users of statistics must identify the statistical problem at hand. Second, decide on the appropriate statistical tools needed to tackle the problem. Third, successfully run the appropriate analysis. Fourth, interpret the results. Last, report or explain the results in statistical and in plain English terms. This book reinforces this process throughout the presentation of various statistical procedures.

Keep in mind, one does not need to possess electrical and mechanical engineering knowledge in order to derive the benefits from automobile ownership and driving. The same holds true for producers and consumers of most quantitative research. One simply needs to use the tools appropriately and effectively. The benefit is derived from knowing that the results were arrived at accurately and knowing what they mean.

SPSS is a tool that easily allows researchers to successfully implement the quantitative analysis process through a plethora of tools. More specifically, SPSS offers a wide-array of tools designed to address key statistical assumptions including determining the correct sample size, data screening, accounting for missing data, and a host of many other procedures including the ability to interface, access a number of add-ons, and customize analyses using many simple and complex statistical procedures from descriptive statistics to structural equation modelling. In short, SPSS is a user-friendly statistical application that meets virtually all of the quantitative analyst’s requirements.

Well, statistics, and basic statistics in particular, is one of those areas where widespread innovation comes slowly. Although, there have been some intriguing developments relative to sampling, analyzing missing data, regression, and advanced modelling techniques, the noticeable innovations are occurring in the teaching of applied statistics. Some professors are exploring teaching statistics using a graphic novel approach, or, in the case of some of my mentors, using video games to teach the subject. With the relatively low cost availability of new and constantly evolving software and hardware, these are exciting times for pedagogy.

I have a Charlie McCarthy doll in my office, which gazes at the entrance to my office, a fact that my undergraduate students find disquieting.

I have three projects currently under development. First, I have plans to develop an introductory statistical textbook that largely relies on graphics such as images and flowcharts accompanied with text bubbles. Its focus is the visual learner. Second, I am developing an intermediate level statistics textbook, which drills down into the nuances and details of basic statistical concepts covered in an introductory textbook where topics like residual analysis is discussed in detail and various types of regression using categorical and/or continuous data and different methods of estimation are explored. Last, I have been developing a method for analyzing text content using network analysis. Through the usage of communication network principles, these measures combine the producer (messaging) and the reader (information processing) perspectives by examining not only word co-occurrences, but co-occurrences in sentence and paragraph structures so that larger linked clusters of meaning or themes can be discovered and the connections and strength of these themes can be studied to determine overall motifs.

Introduction to Real World Statistics

Paperback: 978-1-138-29230-7
Hardback: 978-1-138-29231-4

Request a Comp. Exam Copy