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.

Inequality—Standard Deviations and Variance

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  • Differences sing out
  • Trumpeting unique notes
  • Who’s minding the score?

Differences are important. They contain information. Knowing why something or someone is different is generally more important than knowing how they are different, although knowing how they are different forms the basis for the art of choosing the right statistical technique. The standard deviation measures the extent of differences in a metric (unit of measurement) that is comparable across measures. It does this by representing placement under the normal curve relative to the center of its bell shape. For IQ, for example, a standard deviation is about 15 points (the mean is about 100). Scores within one standard deviation from the mean, on either side, will include about 68% of everyone. Scores ...

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