We need only scan a newspaper or magazine, turn on a news broadcast, or open a sociology text or journal to see that we live in an age that is heavily dependent on statistical information. The extent this dependency is such that it is rather difficult to be an educated person without having at least a passing acquaintance with basic statistics. More to the point, it is virtually impossible to be a capable social scientist without having a definite, if elementary, understanding of some basic statistics and statistical methods of analysis. But a casual acquaintance with a few simple statistics will not serve the social scientist who attempts to read competently the literature of the field. And if one wishes to do quantitative social research-and most research published today is quantitative-a more thorough knowledge of statistics is imperative. The aspiring sociologist need only examine the books and articles that are being published today for evidence of this claim. A very large portion of the articles published in the major sociology journals use some form of statistical analysis. Some of these articles and other works published sociologists are incomprehensible without a statistics background; others will simply be read less intelligently or with a lessened sense of appreciation or criticism.