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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  • Nominal says different
  • No more does it claim
  • Others shouldn’t either

The nominal level of measurement is about categories. Some statisticians refer to it as the categorical level of measurement. The categories have characteristics that differ but are not quantified as to the amount of the difference. For example, political party, religious affiliation, gender, and so forth can be recorded, grouped, and counted. Yet we do not say, for example, that one religion is more of a religion than another.

Under certain conditions, the most typical type of average, the mean (i.e., arithmetic average), is appropriate for nominal data. That is, the variable has only two possible responses, and talking about the percentage that corresponds to one of those responses makes sense. With gender coded 0 ...

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