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Reading and Understanding More Multivariate Statistics

Updated on December 6, 2014
Flora Crew profile image

Flo is a "professional student" with degrees in psychology and an associates in computer programming and operations.

Unfinished Business

When I received my stage iv colon cancer diagnosis, I started ruminating like many cancer patients and survivors do. I had a lot of unfinished business academically and intellectually. One of my to-do things was to finish Reading and Understanding More Multivariate Statistics by Lawrence Grimm and Paul Yarnold. I had started it many years back when I visited the school book store at Adler School of Psychology in preparation for a job interview there. I have a master's in experimental psychology from Georgia Tech, and I taught statistics lab a couple of semesters at Tech when I was a graduate student.

A dreamer and synthesizer

I am a dreamer and I always thought someday I might work my way back into the field of psychology although I have not officially been a "psychologist." (I did work as a recovering alcoholic in two alcohol treatment programs in Alabama.) Since I moved to the Chicago area I have worked in the field of finance, publishing, retail sales and over the internet but I have not made it back to psychology yet although I am studying to be a human service person at Oakton Community College. Even now I hope I can combine my math and verbal skills to help others.

Professionally Interesting Also

As it turns out, when I started reading Reading and Understanding More Multivariate Statistics, my interest was piqued from a personal as well as professional point of view. In addition to the other chapters there is a chapter on survival statistics. Of course the authors are not talking about just cancer survival or even any particular kind of medical survival, they are talking about the process of remaining in a particular group for a specified amount of time following a procedure. The example the authors give in the book are continuing to be a non-smoker after a smoking cessation program. Remaining in the non-smoking group is considered "survival." Actually, that use of the term is not too far from what we ordinarily think of survival.

My copy of Reading and Understanding More Multivariate Statistics
My copy of Reading and Understanding More Multivariate Statistics

Dog eared personal copy!

A picture I took of my dog eared copy of the book is on the right. Naturally, there are more interesting chapters in Reading and Understanding More Multivariate Statistics besides the one on survival analysis. There is also a chapter on structural equation modeling. My oncologist referred briefly to such statistics when she was talking about the importance of weight or body mass index in cancer survival.

Another interesting chapter to me was the chapter on item response theory. This chapter was more interesting for me as a psychologist and a student than as a cancer survivor. It talks about the different ways of analyzing test data. It also talks about latent measures of variables.

A particularly nice aspect of the book is that it is for clinicians rather than experimental psychologists or research scientists. One does not have to work one's way through tedious analysis of variance problems or theoretical derivatives before understanding what conclusions can be drawn from statistics.

Reading & Understanding Multivariate Statistics is a more basic book. It contains the essence the topic.

Multivariate Statistics and Factor Analysis

My multivariate statistics teacher, Dr. Stanley Mulaik, also taught me Factor Analysis. Since the two are interwoven in my mind, I thought I would make a plug for his book while on the subject. I studied the original edition of the book in his class at Georgia Tech. He actually used my copy to keep track of editorial corrections. I feel like a part of history!

Foundations of Factor Analysis (Chapman & Hall/CRC Statistics in the Social and Behavioral Sciences)
Foundations of Factor Analysis (Chapman & Hall/CRC Statistics in the Social and Behavioral Sciences)

I read the first addition. In fact I took the class under Dr. Mulaik at Georgia Tech.


At least we have some good news in this video.

This video is based on 2002 satistics but it shows some interesting relationships between wealth and colon cancer.

Would you want to learn more about statistics related to survival?

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    • Flora Crew profile imageAUTHOR

      Flora Crew 

      5 years ago from Evanston, Illinois

      @SusanDeppner: Ha, I think my mind does too!

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 

      5 years ago from Arkansas USA

      I'd rather read about a statistic than be a statistic. Yep, I probably could get into this topic. My mind works in mysterious ways.


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