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.

Truth—Validity

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  • From the mighty source
  • Final authority flows
  • To judge the flights of arrows
  • From the flex of bows

Several types of validity try to answer this question: To what extent are we actually measuring what we think we are measuring? The various methods that statisticians have developed in attempting to answer this question are quite remarkable and varied. When questioned, people seem to think that they agree on what they mean by validity. That agreement breaks down, however, when you ask them to describe it in some detail.

This lack of agreement is what has led to many methods for assessing validity. Each method assesses a somewhat different aspect. For example, criterion validity assesses the extent to which a given model reproduces a given set of results. ...

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