The Significance of Differences

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Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1979, Vol 24(9), 716–717. Reviews the book, Cultural Conceptions and Mental Illness: A Comparison of Germany and America by John Marshall Townsend (1978). The primary purpose of this book is to explore empirically two contemporary theories of the social role school. Sample selection and size, proportion of returns, regional representation, and so on appear to be in good order. Appropriate statistical analyses are applied. The author has overinterpreted data that can be treated statistically and that produce impressive arrays of statistically significant differences that are not necessarily significant theoretically. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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