Good resources for learning R as a Psychologist are hard to find. By that I mean that there are so many great sites and blogs around the internet to learn R. Thus, it may be hard to find learning resources that target Psychology researchers.
R Books for Psychologists
Recently I wrote about four good R books targeted for Psychology students and researchers (i.e., R books for Psychologists). There are, however, of course, other good resources for Psychological researchers to learn R programming.
Therefore, this post will list some of the best blogs and sites to learn R. The post will be divided into two categories; general and Psychology focused R sites and blogs. For those who are not familiar with R, I will start with a brief introduction on what R is (if you know R already; click here to skip to the links).
What is R?
If you are new to R you might wonder what R is? R is a free and open-source programming language and environment. Data analysis in R is carried out by writing scripts and functions. Finally, R is a complete, interactive, and object-oriented language.
In the R statistical environment, you are able to carry out a variety of statistical and graphical techniques. For instance, linear and nonlinear modeling, classical statistical tests, time-series analysis, classification, and many more can be carried using both frequentist and Bayesian paradigms.
If you are new to R, you may want to start with R commander. This will provide you with a menu making the process of learning R a bit easier at the beginning. R can be downloaded here: The Comprehensive R Archive Network.
One of the main things that I like with R is the broad and helpful community. This also means that there are many good resources for learning the language.
General R Resources
When starting off learning R any source may be useful. Here are some of the best R learning resources I’ve used:
- Quick-R: A comprehensive source for information on how to carry out many common statistical analyses as well as descriptive statistics and graphs.
- SimpleR notes for introducing the use of R for an introductory statistics course.
- The R Guide
- Cookbook for R provides solutions to many tasks and problems in data analysis.
- Revolution Analytics – A blog for news and information about R. Publishes guides and articles about R.
- R-bloggers A “blog aggregator” for R blogs. Here you can find and follow, a lot of comprehensive, basic and advanced, guides and posts.
- RStudio – my Integrated Development Environment (IDE) of choice when it comes to R.
Here are some of my own R tutorials that you may find useful. They cover everything from the basics (e.g., removing variables, descriptive statistics, data visualization) to more advanced topics (e.g., using other software and services for reproducible code).
- How to Use Binder and R for Reproducible Research – Learn how to use Binder together with R, and RStudio to create a fully reproducible computational environment.
- In the tutorial “R Excel Tutorial: How to Read and Write xlsx files in R” you will get a great overview of how to import Excel data into R.
- Data can be imported from other formats as well. Make sure you check out the posts about how to read a SAS file in R, read a SPSS (.sav) file in R, and import a stata (.dta) file in R.
- Learn how to create scatter plots in R will give you the skills to produce nice-looking data visualizations using the Tidyverse packages (e.g., ggplot2, dplyr, broom).
- How to remove a column in R is a very basic tutorial that will help you to remove variables from your dataset. For instance, you will learn how to drop a column using the variable name or the index.
If you need to learn about how to use the repeat() function in R to do some basic repeated caluclations, or, how to simulate data using R’s simulate() function, check the post out.
Psychology R Resources
If you are a psychology researcher aiming to learn R it can be helpful to learn from other psychologists more experienced with the R statistical language. There are also some r-packages that are developed for psychology researchers.
- Using R for Psychological Research – here you will find many tutorials for using R in psychological research. These are very pedagogical and helpful. Here you also find the homepage of the great r-package psych.
- Notes on the use of R for psychology experiments and questionnaires
- Learning Statistics with R free draft of a book for learning R. It mainly covers frequentist methods but has a chapter of Bayesian statistics.
- Psychometric Models and Methods a brief overview of packages that are closely related to psychometrics. Used to teach statistics to Psychology students.
- Mixed Psychophysics – aims to give statistical tools (i.e., R code, models, tutorials, and links to articles) for psychophysics. It contains a short tutorial covering Psychometric functions, generalized mixed models (GLMM).
- The Psycho Blog. Here you will find some great blog posts and a very useful R-package called Psycho.R! It will make doing some of the most common statistical methods in Psychology easy to carry out using R.
If you are interested in learning how to reverse scores using R see the blog post “Reverse Scoring Using R Statistical Environment“.
Although, the learning curve for software such as R is steeper than using software with graphical interfaces (i.e., SPSS, Stata, and Statistica) it is not super hard to learn to carry out the most basic and classical statistical tests. If you aim for reproducibility learning R and/or LaTeX or RMarkdown is really the way to go.
Note, Python is another great, and more general, programming language that may prove useful for an experimental psychologist (e.g., programming experiments). See my newer posts on how to carry out data visualization, data analysis, data manipulation, and more using Python:
- A Basic Pandas Dataframe Tutorial for Beginners
- How to Use Binder and Python for Reproducible Research
- Data Manipulation with Pandas: A Brief Tutorial