Statistics for Dummies / Edition 1

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Overview

In the numbers explosion all around us in our modern-day dealings, the buzzword is data, as in, “Do you have any data to support your claim?” “The data supported the original hypothesis that . . .” and “The data bear this out. . . .” But the field of statistics is not just about data. Statistics is the entire process involved in gathering evidence to answer questions about the world, in cases where that evidence happens to be numerical data.

Statistics For Dummies is for everyone who wants to sort through and evaluate the incredible amount of statistical information that comes to them on a daily basis. (You know the stuff: charts, graphs, tables, as well as headlines that talk about the results of the latest poll, survey, experiment, or other scientific study.) This book arms you with the ability to decipher and make important decisions about statistical results, being ever aware of the ways in which people can mislead you with statistics. Get the inside scoop on number-crunching nuances, plus insight into how you can

  • Determine the odds
  • Calculate a standard score
  • Find the margin of error
  • Recognize the impact of polls
  • Establish criteria for a good survey
  • Make informed decisions about experiments

This down-to-earth reference is chock-full of real examples from real sources that are relevant to your everyday life: from the latest medical breakthroughs, crime studies, and population trends to surveys on Internet dating, cell phone use, and the worst cars of the millennium. Statistics For Dummies departs from traditional statistics texts, references, supplement books, and study guides in the following ways:

  • Practical and intuitive explanations of statistical concepts, ideas, techniques, formulas, and calculations.
  • Clear and concise step-by-step procedures that intuitively explain how to work through statistics problems.
  • Upfront and honest answers to your questions like, “What does this really mean?” and “When and how I will ever use this?”

Chances are, Statistics For Dummies will be your No. 1 resource for discovering how numerical data figures into your corner of the universe.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"…it would certainly help many students, particularly those on service courses, to grasp the concepts and see the wider picture." (MSOR Newsletter, September 2007)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780764554230
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 8/25/2003
  • Series: For Dummies Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 7.42 (w) x 9.18 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Meet the Author

Deborah Rumsey earned her Ph.D. in statistics from Ohio State University (OSU) in 1993. Upon graduating, she joined the faculty in the Department of Statistics at Kansas State University, winning the distinguished Presidential Teaching Award and earning tenure and promotion in 1998. In 2000, she returned to OSU as the Director of the Mathematics and Statistics Learning Center, where she is today. Deb is the Editor of the “Teaching Bits” of the Journal of Statistics Education; she has also published papers and given professional presentations on the subject of statistics education, with a particular emphasis on statistical literacy (skills for understanding statistics in everyday life and the workplace) and immersive learning environments (environments that promote students’ discovery of ideas on their own). Her passions include fishing, bird watching, and Ohio State Buckeye football (not necessarily in that order).
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Table of Contents

Introduction.

Part I: Vital Statistics about Statistics.

Chapter 1: The Statistics of Everyday Life.

Chapter 2: Statistics Gone Wrong.

Chapter 3: Tools of the Trade.

Part II: Number-Crunching Basics.

Chapter 4: Getting the Picture: Charts and Graphs.

Chapter 5: Means, Medians, and More.

Part III: Determining the Odds.

Chapter 6: What Are the Chances? Understanding Probability.

Chapter 7: Gambling to Win.

Part IV: Wading through the Results.

Chapter 8: Measures of Relative Standing.

Chapter 9: Caution: Sample Results Vary!

Chapter 10: Leaving Room for a Margin of Error.

Part V: Guesstimating with Confidence.

Chapter 11: The Business of Estimation: Interpreting and Evaluating Confidence Intervals.

Chapter 12: Calculating Accurate Confidence Intervals.

Chapter 13: Commonly Used Confidence Intervals: Formulas and Examples.

Part VI: Putting a Claim to the (Hypothesis) Test.

Chapter 14: Claims, Tests, and Conclusions.

Chapter 15: Commonly Used Hypothesis Tests: Formulas and Examples.

Part VII: Statistical Studies: The Inside Scoop.

Chapter 16: Polls, Polls, and More Polls.

Chapter 17: Experiments: Medical Breakthroughs or Misleading Results?

Chapter 18: Looking for Links: Correlations and Associations.

Chapter 19: Statistics and Toothpaste: Quality Control.

Part VIII: The Part of Tens.

Chapter 20: Ten Criteria for a Good Survey.

Chapter 21: Ten Common Statistical Mistakes.

Appendix: Sources.

Index.

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