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.


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  • Two people dance
  • They spin, twirl, more or less together
  • Do they hear the same music?

Correlations are much like scores in pair synchronized swimming events. The two people involved can achieve perfect scores by performing identical or exactly opposite movements. Anything in between is not as synchronized. Correlations measure the degree to which values for two measures move in a synchronized manner. The farther away from 0 and closer to 1 (moving together) or to –1 (moving opposite each other), the more synchronized they are. The closer to 0, the more independent they are. Generally, (absolute) values of about 0.2 are considered weak, about 0.5 are considered moderate, and about 0.8 are considered strong. Correlations have two aspects: strength and direction. Most of the ...

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