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.

Impact—Effect Sizes

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  • Impact large or small?
  • An interpretive context
  • Magnitude explained

Do you remember the question about how large a sample might be needed to determine whether a professional fighter could break a person’s nose with a single punch from the chapter on sampling and sample sizes? The central issue there was the effect size, which is considerable. The difference in the original configuration of a person’s nose before being hit by a professional fighter is expected to be considerably altered through the impact with the fighter’s fist or other body part.

Yet, most effect sizes are not as large as that extreme example. Many are subtle and require far larger samples to uncover. How much skin damage should be expected after using an adhesive bandage for ...

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