General FAQs

Where can I find the Getting Started guide?

Click here.The Getting Started guide will guide you through the downloading and installing process if you are unfamiliar with it, as well as getting you started with the software and providing information on known issues and the solutions to them (see also below).

How does ‘Statistics for the Terrified’ differ from SPSS?

‘Statistics for the Terrified’ is a tutorial, giving you a basic understanding of statistics from a common sense perspective. SPSS is an analysis package which assumes you are pretty well an expert in the subject. You give it a lot of numbers, and it will give you a few numbers back: it is not SPSS’ function to explain. Version 5 of ‘Statistics for the Terrified’ had an Analysis Module, which you can use to test your own data. Please note that this is not recommended for work which you intend to publish. It is intended for use on student projects, and will do most typical analyses to an acceptable level of complexity for this purpose.

Can you help me with my assignment?

Sorry, no. This is probably the most frequently asked question of all: if we said yes, we’d spend all our days doing other people’s homework. Schools and universities provide help for you if you get stuck. If you don’t know where to look, ask around: start with your tutor, the Library, or your departmental/ faculty secretary. Remember, there is no shame in seeking help: if you already knew, you wouldn’t be a student!

I am confused about when my copy of ‘Statistics for the Terrified’ expires

Statistics for the Terrified v5 single-user edition does not expire: once purchased, they are yours until you no longer need them.

Statistics for the Terrified v5 and v6 multi-user edition are marketed as a ‘license to use’: this expires annually, though we can arrange special licenses for your organisation for longer or shorter periods if this is required.

Should I have received a license file?

Statistics for the Terrified v5 single-user edition does not need a license file. The multi-user edition may have been issued with a license file or with the expiry date coded within it. Please contact us if you remain unsure.

I’ve just installed and it tells me that my license is invalid, or out-of-date

This is a rare problem: there are three main reasons for it.

The first (and most common) is that the date is set incorrectly on your PC or laptop: check this first!

The second most likely reason is that you have not got the license file into the correct folder. The email which you received from us with the license file will tell you where this is. Use Windows Explorer to look at the contents of this folder, and check that the license file is there. (If you see something like “//10” quoted as your expiry date, this is a good clue that the tutorial can’t find the license file where it should be.)

If the file is in the right folder but you are still getting the error message, the most likely explanation is that you have opened the license file and then ‘saved’ it to the folder. Unfortunately, different email packages and editors work in different ways, and doing this can (in some cases) add characters to the start of the license file. This then throws the software out when it looks through for your license information. Because we don’t know the ins and outs of your email software, we can’t advise you on how to save the attached license file without opening it, but if you consult the help facility you should be able to find the instructions you need. You will be looking for something like “saving attachments” (ie. attached – rather than open – files). We will send you a new license file if you let us know what has happened.

If none of these solve the problem, let us know and we will try to help you sort it out. Please note though, that we cannot teach you to use Windows or your email program over the phone or by email. We will do everything we can, but sometimes the best way forward is to borrow a friendly geek.

My PC has been burgled/crashed beyond repair and I have lost my copy: can I download it again?

Yes. Provided that we can verify that you are a legitimate user, we will email you a new download link. Please email us with as much information as you can muster on your original purchase. The transaction ID is ideal, the approximate date of purchase is useful – and don’t forget that if you have changed your name, our records will still be in the name you were using then!

Can I install my single-user edition on more than one PC?

Well, basically no but sometimes yes. If you normally use a desktop but want to take the tutorial with you when you travel, then it is fine to install it on your laptop provided you can be sure that no-one else is using it on your desktop at the same time. The idea is that you are the single user.

Can I use the discussion pieces on your Free Resources page in teaching?

Yes, please do. All that we ask is that you tell us, and let us know how useful you found it. And credit us, please! (Concept Stew Ltd, www.conceptstew.co.uk)

Can I run Statistics for the Terrified on a Mac?

Not currently, unfortunately, though if we get enough requests we will provide this. Some users have had success with emulation software in the past.

Why don’t you cover more advanced topics, like multiple regression, factor analysis, principle components, discriminant analysis, analysis of covariance, multivariate analysis of variance, sample size calculations, etc?

Statistics for the Terrified is aimed at the typical university undergraduate in every discipline (eg. healthcare, sociology, geography, agriculture, etc.) who does not have a mathematical or research background and needs to get to grips with the most frequently used statistical techniques.

The techniques and tests which are included in ‘Statistics for the Terrified’ are underpinned by the concepts included in the section on The Basics. To explain these more advanced topics, we would need a new set of more advanced foundation concepts such as vectors and matrices. For the audience which ‘Terrified’ is aimed at, we feel that these would only add confusion.

However, for some years we have been considering producing ‘Statistics for the Fearless’, and some of the complex work has actually been done. What is holding us back is the question of how many people would actually buy it; whether it would be cost effective. Contact us and let us know if you want it.

Why isn’t there more mathematics in ‘Statistics for the Terrified’?

Most students at university or college do not have a mathematical background. At the same time, most Statistics courses present the subject using mathematical explanations: this tutorial provides an alternative approach. We believe that although the mathematical stuff can be used to prove the concepts, it is less than illuminating about what they are and how they work unless you are a gifted mathematician: the rest of us simply don’t think that way.

We are working on the idea of ‘optional pages’ which include the mathematical material (formulae, etc.) which you can look at if you want to, as we appreciate that this can help with the transition back to more formal textbook-based study.

Why don’t you have audio in ‘Statistics for the Terrified’?

There are a number of reasons for this. Initially the main difficulty was that if you have audio, you need headphones; in PC-equipped classrooms this can cause problems. Not all rooms had headphones, and those that did lost a lot of them to theft. As time has gone on, however, we have found that the majority of users don’t find the lack of audio to be a problem. Since it would add considerably to development costs, and thus put up the price, we have continued to be strong and silent.

Can you provide a printer-friendly version of each page?

This is a tricky one. We have had many requests for this, and the problem is that so many pages are very interactive, and so Joe’s printout might be very different from Fred’s. There is a ‘Print Screen’ button on the top menu bar, which will print exactly what is on the screen at the time to your default printer. In this way you can save for future reference the particular arrangement of data and values you have created, alongside any explanatory text.

The datagames are great, but can there be more directed challenges?

Yes – in version 6 there are a lot more challenges than there were in version 5.

I do like the tutorial, but I wish there were more examples from my field

So do we, but sadly we only know about the areas we know about. We would love to know the kind of problems you are dealing with in your own area of study, so that we can include them in the tutorial. The examples we have included are deliberately chosen to make sense to everyone: nothing should be technical, or based on understanding of a discipline. For example, the ‘medical’ examples are on things we all know about, such as body weight.

Known Issues and Solutions

Can’t see navigation buttons at the bottom of the Statistics for the Terrified screen

This occurs on some laptops where the vertical space available only just fits the software. Your Windows Taskbar may therefore sit over the lower edge of the software, obscuring your view.

Solution 1: The Taskbar

You can ‘hide’ the taskbar or move it so that it is out of the way but still accessible. We recommend moving it, as it is very simple both to move it and to restore it to its original location afterwards.


  • Move your mouse pointer over an unused area on the taskbar.
  • Click the left mouse button and hold it down; drag the mouse pointer to the right edge of the screen and let go of the mouse button. It may not look as though anything is happening, but when you have finished the taskbar reappears as a column on the right edge of the screen, with the Start button at the top and all the items you would normally see to the right of it running down towards the bottom.

NOTE: If you have icons on this part of your desktop they may be overlaid. However, most people keep their icons at the left of the desktop which is why we recommend using the right side for this

Solution 2: Screen resolution

It may be possible for you to increase your screen resolution (depending on the equipment you have). This would have the effect of making everything appear a little smaller, including Statistics for the Terrified, which would then not be overlapped by the Taskbar.


  • Close Statistics for the Terrified.
  • Right-click on an empty part of your desktop and choose Properties from the pop-up menu.
  • Click on the Settings tab, and increase the screen resolution shown.
  • The vertical setting (the second of the two figures) needs to be more than 768 pixels for this solution to work; the next increment is usually 960.
  • Restart Statistics for the Terrified.

Some text is running over other text and/or graphical displays

This sometimes happens if you have ‘Large fonts’ specified in your Windows Display Properties.


Change to ‘Normal’ font size.


  • Close Statistics for the Terrified.
  • Right-click on an empty part of your desktop and choose Properties from the pop-up menu.
  • Click on the Appearance tab, and under ‘Font size’ select ‘Normal’.
  • Click the Apply button and then OK
  • Restart Statistics for the Terrified.

Normal curves are not displayed in graphs

This sometimes happens when the default language setting is to a language other than English.


Change default language setting.


  • Close Statistics for the Terrified.
  • Go to the Start menu and then Control Panel
  • Select Regional and Language Options (depending on your version of Windows and how you have the Control Panel displayed, you may have to hunt around for this a little – you may want to consult Windows help).
  • Select one of the English language options, click the Apply button and then OK.
  • Restart Statistics for the Terrified.
Concept Stew Services
Review Review

"Our students who have made full use of Statistics for the Terrified have universally found this to be an extremely useful resource in getting up to speed... Keep up the good work!"

5/ 5 Stars
Review Review

"Well, I aced my stats course and I have to give credit to your program. It gave me straight forward explanations about some terrifying questions and I could go back and review as many times as I needed. All in all, you have a great product."

5/ 5 Stars
Review Review

"I have found Statistics for the Terrified to be a valuable tool in helping students to grasp some core concepts in statistical testing such as the standard error, confidence intervals and hypothesis testing. I have found the interactive multi-media element of Statistics for the Terrified to be particularly powerful in this regard."

5/ 5 Stars
Review Review

"Congratulations for this fantastic piece of software. Certainly your software does fulfill my needs, and it also proves useful when it comes to just refresh a specific topic. One could consider it as well as an “ongoing refresher course”, very handy not only for beginners in statistics. Let me know if and when new versions are out. And BTW, it works perfectly under Windows 7 Ultimate."

5/ 5 Stars
Review Review

"Concept Stew supported us from start to finish in implementing this for our students – from providing the software in the most appropriate format for our needs to offering a support line for our students, they have been with us all the way, and always with a cheery message to make us feel like valued customers. We’re looking forward to working with them as the product develops."

5/ 5 Stars
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