The 5 Stages of Statistics 451

Stage 1 – Hopeful Optimism: This will be a breeze!

Sometime during the summer before classes start, you’ll get your first email about Statistics from the infamous Ed. He’ll suggest brushing up on statistics with a link to Kahn Academy, a high school statistics resource. Maybe you’ll dust off your old AP Stats review book. Perhaps you’ll get through everything or maybe just the first chapter, but you’ll soon realize that stats isn’t as scary as it might seem. You’re not in high school anymore, and surely you can handle some basic marketing-related analytics.

Stage 2 – Shock: All expectations just went out the window.

Remember all that review you did over the summer? (Or not.) Well Ed just covered it all within the first hour of class. From this point on you enter the great unknown. SPSS? Null hypothesis? BINOMDIST? Confidence Interval? P-value? Regression? It all sounds like Greek at this point. And a lot of the notation actually is (σ μ χ π ρ). There are a lot of new concepts to learn, but surely you’ll be a master by the end of the quarter. Probably. Hopefully.

Stage 3 – Resolve: I just have to do a little better than everyone else…

It’s no secret this class is curved. A lot. A few weeks in you find an old file on Canvas with the scores from last year’s midterm and discover the median grade was a 46 out of 90. You know enough about medians to know that’s not good. But that’s not going to be you. As long as you can do a bit better than a bit more than half the class, a good grade is achievable. Let the studying commence.

Stage 4 – Panic: I don’t know ANYTHING!

The midterm is finally here. After devoting hours and hours to studying – working countless practice problems, reviewing the course pack, and watching stats YouTube videos with Ed’s narration at double speed – you’re as ready as you’ll ever be. You go into the exam maybe not fully confident, but determined. And then you open the test and realize everything you thought you learned was a lie.

Stage 5 – Acceptance: That wasn’t so bad after all.

Maybe it’s because the second half of the course is easier than the first. Maybe it’s because you studied a lot and actually learned something. Maybe it’s hindsight bias. Maybe it’s Stockholm Syndrome. Whatever the reason, statistics seems a lot friendlier now that everything’s said and done. You tried your best and survived. Some IMC-ers will be more than happy to put statistics in the past and never think about another number again. But for others, a specialization in Marketing Analytics is looking a lot more enticing…


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