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.

Fiddling—Modifications and New Techniques

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  • Twisted like so
  • Transformation
  • Improvement

Statisticians are forever refining their models and their techniques. That is how statistics got to where they are today. Keeping current in every aspect of statistics used for a single field of social science research would be more than a full-time job. Yet the improvements to statistics give us better answers to our difficult questions regarding issues about which people care deeply.

Statistics rest on assumptions and mathematics. The ideas and value in statistics rest on how they can help inform important issues that make differences in people’s lives. Remember that statistics need a context. Remember their limitations and where we wish they could give us better answers.

So bring on the new modifications, the better methods for handling ...

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