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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  • Multiple players
  • Unstack the deck
  • Now deal

Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) extends the usefulness of ANOVA by allowing for the use of covariates—what would be confounds if they were not statistically accommodated as covariates. Extending the previous example for the high school principal, what would have had to happen if students assigned to the three lunch periods were of different average heights at the beginning of the year? Each student’s beginning-of-year height could be used to adjust for differences in the end-of-year heights. In statistical terms, the beginning-of-year heights would be used to control, or adjust, for differences in the end-of-year heights that could otherwise be attributable to the starting differences. The beginning-of-year height would be used as a covariate. The deck would be unstacked ...

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