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.

Ordinal

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  • With distances unsure
  • Blindly even steps
  • Arrive at cracks

Ordinal measurement is common for opinion polls. We can distinguish between levels of agreement but cannot be sure that the psychological distance between pairs of adjoining response choices are equivalent. For example, the psychological distance between “strongly disagree” and “moderately disagree” might not be the same as the distance between “neutral” and “moderately agree.” In these cases, an arithmetic average (the mean) might not yield an interpretable answer.

The high school principal has ordinal scales from some student surveys that he has already conducted, and of which he might generate more. Although the case could be made that course grades really are ordinal, they have been and continue to be used as interval (the next topic) since ...

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