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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  • Interval is regular
  • Same steps, no cracks
  • Yet zero is not none

Interval data have evenly spaced steps but no true zero. Course grades could be an example, where a zero score on a math test does not mean a complete lack of mathematics knowledge. A zero on a math test means that the student did not arrive at a single correct answer for the sample of possible relevant mathematics questions on the test, but the test has no way of capturing whether the student has no knowledge of the assessed topic. The zero is a measurement convenience.

Many statistics require interval levels of measurement (or could use ratio, discussed next) to yield valid results. Topics from grading differences in sections of the same course to ...

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