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Research Methods – Data Presentation

5. Box Plots and Histograms

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About this Lecture


In this lecture, we think about box plots and histograms, with a particular focus on: (i) the role a boxplot can play in representing data distributions in a way that is easily interpretable; (ii) their failure to present the frequency of datapoints at any given value; (iii) the effectiveness of a histogram at representing data distributions for which the frequency of data points should be represented, especially when comparing datasets to a normal distribution; (iv) the role of histograms in presenting skewed data, something vital for knowing which statistical test is relevant for the dataset.


In this course, Dr Ayoub Bouguettaya (University of Birmingham) explores types of data presentation and data distributions. In the first lecture, we look at some example graphs which present different sets of data and consider whether they have done a good job. In the second lecture, we think about types of data, with a particular focus on qualitative versus quantitative data, and primary versus secondary data. In the third lecture, we think about tables and graphs as ways of presenting datasets, each with their respective strengths. Next, we think about how the potential drawbacks of both tables and graphs can make them unsuitable for presenting certain types of data. In the fifth lecture, we think about boxplots and histograms, each with their respective strengths and weaknesses for representing different datasets. In the sixth and final lecture, we think about some conclusions that can be drawn from the evaluation of each of these data presentation methods.


Dr Ayoub Bouguettaya is a lecturer in the School of Psychology at the University of Birmingham. Dr Bouguettaya’s research interests are in social psychology and how knowledge from that field can be applied to others, particularly health, including how we can apply social identity theory to societal problems, as well as investigating the different perspectives one might take on those issues. Some of Dr Bouguettaya’s recent publications include 'The relationship between gambling advertising and gambling attitudes, intentions and behaviours: a critical and meta-analytic review' (2020) and 'The Effect of a Food Addiction Explanation Model for Weight Control and Obesity on Weight Stigma' (2020).

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Bouguettaya, A. (2022, March 15). Research Methods – Data Presentation - Box Plots and Histograms [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Bouguettaya, A. "Research Methods – Data Presentation – Box Plots and Histograms." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Mar 2022,

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