Learning Statistics with R

Welcome to this comprehensive tutorial on learning statistics with R, tailored specifically for psychology students and beginners. In this guide, we will explore the fundamentals of statistics and how to effectively use the R programming language for statistical analysis.

Why Statistics is Important for Psychology Students

Statistics plays a crucial role in psychology research, aiding in the interpretation of data and drawing meaningful conclusions. Whether you’re conducting experiments, surveys, or analyzing existing data, a solid understanding of statistics is essential for every psychology student.

Understanding R and its Benefits for Statistical Analysis

R is a powerful open-source programming language and software environment for statistical computing and graphics. It provides a wide array of tools and packages for data analysis, making it a preferred choice for researchers and analysts worldwide. Its flexibility and versatility make it ideal for beginners and advanced users alike.

Learning statistics with R
Learning statistics with R

Installing R and RStudio

To get started with R, you’ll first need to install R and RStudio on your computer. R can be downloaded from the Comprehensive R Archive Network (CRAN), while RStudio, an integrated development environment (IDE) for R, can be downloaded from the RStudio website.

Basic R Syntax and Data Types

Once installed, familiarize yourself with basic R syntax and data types. R uses functions and operators to perform calculations and manipulations on data. It supports various data types such as numeric, character, logical, and factors.

Importing Data into R

One of the first steps in data analysis is importing data into R. R supports various file formats, including CSV, Excel, and SPSS. You can use functions like read.csv() or read_excel() to import data from external sources.

Descriptive Statistics with R

Descriptive statistics are used to summarize and describe the characteristics of a dataset. In R, you can calculate measures such as mean, median, mode, standard deviation, and variance using built-in functions like mean(), median(), and sd().

Inferential Statistics with R

Inferential statistics allow you to make inferences and predictions about a population based on a sample of data. R provides a wide range of statistical tests and procedures for hypothesis testing, correlation analysis, and regression analysis.

Data Visualization using R

Data visualization is a powerful tool for exploring and presenting data. R offers numerous packages for creating various types of plots and charts, including histograms, scatter plots, box plots, and bar graphs.

Regression Analysis with R

Regression analysis is used to model the relationship between a dependent variable and one or more independent variables. R provides functions for linear regression, logistic regression, and other types of regression analysis.

Hypothesis Testing in R

Hypothesis testing is a fundamental concept in statistics, allowing researchers to assess the validity of hypotheses based on sample data. R offers functions for conducting hypothesis tests such as t-tests, chi-square tests, and ANOVA.


Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MANOVA) are used to compare means across multiple groups or factors. R provides functions like aov() and manova() for conducting ANOVA and MANOVA tests.

Practical Examples and Exercises

To reinforce your learning, we’ll provide practical examples and exercises throughout the tutorial. These exercises will help you apply what you’ve learned and gain hands-on experience with R and statistical analysis.

Resources for Further Learning

Finally, we’ll conclude with a list of resources for further learning, including books, online courses, and community forums where you can continue to enhance your skills in statistics and R programming.


In conclusion, learning statistics with R can be a rewarding journey for psychology students and beginners alike. By mastering the basics of statistics and familiarizing yourself with R, you’ll be equipped with valuable skills for conducting research and analyzing data in various fields.

Download: Using R for Data Analysis and Graphics Introduction, Code and Commentary