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.

Simplifying—Groups and Clusters

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  • You and I are much alike
  • Over there, they are different
  • I will be with those like me
  • For now

Group differences are the cornerstone for much of the social research done today. The reason is that grouping is a convenient, logical, and valid way to reduce the complexity of data. Groups are created from ideas that people have about characteristics or conditions that separate interesting parts of the data. Gender and race/ethnicity are traditional examples and are used more often than they are reflectively reviewed for their relevance to answering the questions posed.

Clusters are groups that are created by sophisticated mathematics when researchers do not know where, or how, to separate their groups. To form clusters, statistical software needs variables, which someone must ...

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