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.

Ordered Events—Path Analysis

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  • A map of events
  • Relationships shown
  • The governor signs

Path diagrams (used in path analysis) can support causal inferences because of their ability to accommodate different periods in time. They also can be powerful tools for presenting the strengths of relationships for complex issues in a fairly “clean” format. Those are the strengths. Their biggest weakness is that they are models. In social systems, complex relationships can be difficult to capture with valid data. Additionally, path analyses generally incorporate several variables, so somewhat large samples are normally needed. Yet path analytic models have a beautiful look to the eye. They almost scream parsimony. For many years, journals liked them a lot. Many people still do.

Our two researchers are united in their intent to ...

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