In Correlation and Regression Analysis: A Historian’s Guide Thomas J. Archdeacon provides historians with a practical introduction to the use of correlation and regression analysis. The book concentrates on the kinds of analysis that form the broad range of statistical methods used in the social sciences. It enables historians to understand and to evaluate critically the quantitative analyses that they are likely to encounter in journal literature and monographs reporting research findings in the social sciences.
Without attempting to be a text in basic statistics, the book provides enough background information to allow readers to grasp the essentials of correlation and regression. Correlation analysis refers to the measurement of association between or among variables, and regression analysis focuses primarily on the use of linear models to predict changes in the value taken by one variable in terms of changes in the values of a set of explanatory variables. The book also discusses diagnostic methods for identifying shortcomings in regression models, the use of regression to analyze causation, and the application of regression and related procedures to the study of problems containing categorical as well as numerical data.
Archdeacon asserts that knowing how statistical procedures are computed can clarify the theoretical structures underlying them and is essential for recognizing the conditions under which their use is appropriate. The book does not shy away from the mathematics of statistical analysis; but Archdeacon presents concepts carefully and explains the operation of equations step by step. Unlike many works in the field, the book does not assume that readers have mathematical training beyond basic algebra and geometry.
In the hope of promoting the role of quantitative analysis in his discipline, Archdeacon discusses the theory and methods behind the most important interpretive paradigm for quantitative research in the social sciences. Correlation and Regression Analysis introduces statistical techniques that are indispensable to historians and enhances the presentation of them with practical examples from scholarly works.