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.

Predictions—Multiple Regression

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  • Name the shape of a cloud
  • Have others, too
  • What is it?

Prediction, explanation, and “statistical adjustment” are generally done through one of the many incarnations of multiple regression analysis. Multiple regression analysis is the backbone of much of social statistics. Although multiple regression has evolved into several specialized varieties, all forms assess the direct and combined relationships between variation in a single dependent variable’s values and variation in (generally) several simultaneously considered independent variables. Questions that range from drug effectiveness to dolphin population sizes are addressed through types of multiple regression analysis. It probably is not in error to suggest that in some student experiment somewhere, the way the wind will blow is being forecast through multiple regression analysis.

Although multiple regression typically uses ...

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