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.

Consistency—Reliability

Image 27
  • Again and again
  • Arrows tightly bunched
  • Where?

Reliability is repeatability, or consistency. It forms a continuum, despite people’s fondness for talking about it in absolute terms. Having sufficient reliability is not the same as having sufficient validity (i.e., validity is hitting the bull’s-eye, or “truth,” and is covered as the next topic). Even when everyone might agree on something, everyone could still be wrong, as science so often demonstrates. Although validity cannot exist without reliability, reliability can exist on its own. As we will see later, establishing validity establishes reliability, whereas establishing reliability only establishes reliability itself.

Think of three different archers shooting arrows at three large targets with small bull’s-eyes in their centers. The first archer’s arrows land all over the target. Some arrows are ...

locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles