Statistical Resources: Stat Trek

Stat Trek is a very useful – and FREE – set of resources for anyone wanting to use statistics to analyse film style, box office data, audience survey’s, or anything else you can think of.

The site can be accessed here.

There are two sets of tutorials for statistics: an introductory series providing the basics on statistics and probability theory, and an advanced placements series. Do not be put off by the use of the term advanced, because there is nothing out of the ordinary here. There are also tutorials in matrix algebra. Each tutorial explains key statistical concepts, and provides a worked through example of how to use statistics. The tutorials covering the basics of exploring and describing data, planning studies, statistical estimation, regression, and hypothesis tests. There are sections explaining how to construct and interpret different types of graphs. The explanations of mathematical notation and the glossary of statistical formulas are also very valuable for those who might be put off by equations.

A very useful feature of these tutorials are the videos that demonstrate statistical concepts and methods, which can be accessed by clicking on the ‘View Video Lesson’ button in the upper left corner of the main panel (circled in red).

There are video lessons covering many of the elementary statistical concepts that film scholars get so frequently wrong, including

  • variables,
  • populations and samples,
  • measures of central tendency,
  • measures of variability,
  • recognising patterns in data,
  • bar charts and histograms, and
  • boxplots.

These video tutorials are very simple and clearly presented, with all concepts clearly explained and methods illustrated.

In addition to the tutorials there are also some online calculators for finding critical values and p-values. There are some links other useful statistical resources.

These tutorials are a good place to start for someone who wants to begin using statistics in film studies or for tutors who want a straightforward set of resources for use in class; and provide much better instruction than the available resources in film studies.

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About Nick Redfern

I graduated from the University of Kent in 1998 with a degree in Film Studies and History, and was awarded an MA by the same institution in 2002. I received my Ph.D. from Manchester Metropolitan University in 2006 for a thesis title 'Regionalism and the Cinema in the United Kingdom, 1992 to 2002.' I have taught at Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Central Lancashire. My research interests include regional film cultures and industries in the United Kingdom; cognition and communication in the cinema; anxiety in contemporary Hollywood cinema; cinemetrics; and film style and film form. My work has been published in Entertext, the International Journal of Regional and Local Studies, the New Review of Film and Television Studies, Cyfrwng: Media Wales Journal, and the Journal of British Cinema and Television.

Posted on October 13, 2011, in Statistics and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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