This Second Edition of The Tao of Statistics: A Path to Understanding (With No Math) provides a reader-friendly approach to statistics in plain English. Unlike other statistics books, this text explains what statistics mean and how they are used, rather than how to calculate them. The book walks readers through basic concepts as well as some of the most complex statistical models in use. The Second Edition adds coverage of big data to better address its impact on p-values and other key concepts; material on small data to show readers how to handle data with fewer data points than optimal; and other new topics like missing data and effect sizes. The book’s two characters (a high school principal and a director of public health) return in the revised edition, with their examples expanded and updated with reference to contemporary concerns in the fields of education and health.


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  • Observe
  • Record
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Data are what we hear, see, smell, taste, touch, and more. Data can even be what we sense. Data can represent anything and everything that we can discriminate well enough to distinguish from something else. In short, if it can be perceived, it can be coded and used as data.

Data are the fodder of measurement, the backbone of statistics. Through a context, data become transformed into information. That context is a fusion of substantive knowledge of a topic with a methodological approach to gathering the data and the statistics used to derive meaning. A large part of the misuse of statistics is a nonreflective, uncritical crunching of numbers (i.e., data) to generate other, somewhat context-free, numbers. These uncritically examined results are then ...

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