Now that the IRB hurdle is over and the study part is complete, the task of Chapter Four is in process. The light at the end of the tunnel keeps getting smaller. This chapter, however, is more overwhelming than I anticipated. Microsoft Excel and SPSS give me anxiety; is there any way I can throw an extra ten pages onto the lit review and skip this?
The truth is, I am most eager for the results of this chapter, but horribly intimidated about getting those results. Although I have some stats courses under my belt, it seems like black magic to get from point A1 to Z1,000,000. The power of positive thinking is helping to a degree, but upon submission to my Chair, I do anticipate a large number of comments. It is just not my core competency.
First, I have to decide where a table will suffice versus a figure. For both, the software program I am using will generate them for me, and it is only a matter of cut, copy, and pasting the information in and providing a discussion. Of course, APA formatting is a whole different beast and another blog post entirely.
What I am noticing with a table is that I have to sort this information and decide on the X and Y according to my research questions to most efficiently display the data. When multiple variables exist, my brain goes into spatial freeze, and this is where I need help.
Surely there is a way to represent age, gender, and location without three separate tables or histograms. I do understand the data, but thinking in pictures is not at the top of my multiple intelligences set of skills.
So far, for Chapter Four, my singular best accomplishment has been changing future tense verbs to past tense verbs. It is a skill I learned at age seven, but never has a past tense verb been more of a site for sore eyes. I will keep the pace, however, not be afraid to ask for help, and convert that data into those pictures from the spreadsheet mess that, I’m pretty sure, is not acceptable for submission.