Statistics in a Nutshell (In a Nutshell (O'Reilly) Series) / Edition 1

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Need to learn statistics as part of your job, or want some help passing a statistics course? Statistics in a Nutshell is a clear and concise introduction and reference that's perfect for anyone with no previous background in the subject. This book gives you a solid understanding of statistics without being too simple, yet without the numbing complexity of most college texts.

You get a firm grasp of the fundamentals and a hands-on understanding of how to apply them before moving on to the more advanced material that follows. Each chapter presents you with easy-to-follow descriptions illustrated by graphics, formulas, and plenty of solved examples. Before you know it, you'll learn to apply statistical reasoning and statistical techniques, from basic concepts of probability and hypothesis testing to multivariate analysis.

Organized into four distinct sections, Statistics in a Nutshell offers you:

  • Introductory material:
  • Different ways to think about statistics
  • Basic concepts of measurement and probability theory
  • Data management for statistical analysis
  • Research design and experimental design
  • How to critique statistics presented by others
  • Basic inferential statistics:

  • Basic concepts of inferential statistics
  • The concept of correlation, when it is and is not an appropriate measure of association
  • Dichotomous and categorical data
  • The distinction between parametric and nonparametric statistics
  • Advanced inferential techniques:

  • The General Linear Model
  • Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and MANOVA
  • Multiple linear regression
  • Specialized techniques:

  • Business and quality improvement statistics
  • Medical and public health statistics
  • Educational and psychological statistics

Unlike many introductory books on the subject, Statistics in a Nutshell doesn't omit important material in an effort to dumb it down. And this book is far more practical than most college texts, which tend to over-emphasize calculation without teaching you when and how to apply different statistical tests.

With Statistics in a Nutshell, you learn how to perform most common statistical analyses, and understand statistical techniques presented in research articles. If you need to know how to use a wide range of statistical techniques without getting in over your head, this is the book you want.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780596510497
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/1/2008
  • Series: In a Nutshell (O'Reilly) Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 480
  • Sales rank: 814,940
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Sarah Boslaugh holds a PhD in Research and Evaluation from the City University of New York and have been working as a statistical analyst for 15 years, in a variety of professional settings, including the New York City Board of Education, the Institutional Research Office of the City University of New York, Montefiore Medical Center, the Virginia Department of Social Services, Magellan Health Services, Washington University School of Medicine, and BJC HealthCare. She has taught statistics in several different contexts and currently teaches Intermediate Statistics at Washington University Medical School. She has published two previous books: An Intermediate Guide to SPSS Programming: Using Syntax for Data Management (SAGE Publications, 2004) and Secondary Data Sources for Public Health (forthcoming from Cambridge U. Press, 2007) and am currently editing the Encyclopedia of Epidemiology for SAGE Publications (forthcoming, 2007).

Paul A. Watters PhD CITP, is Associate Professor in the School of Information and Mathematical Sciences and Centre for Informatics and Applied Optimization (CIAO) at the University of Ballarat. Until recently, he was Head of Data Services at the Medical Research Council's National Survey of Health and Development, which is the oldest of the British birth cohort studies, and an honorary senior research fellow at University College London. He uses multivariate statistics to develop orthogonal and non-orthogonal methods for feature extraction in pattern recognition, especially in biometric applications.

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Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Basic Concepts of Measurement

Chapter 2: Probability

Chapter 3: Data Management

Chapter 4: Descriptive Statistics and Graphics

Chapter 5: Research Design

Chapter 6: Critiquing Statistics Presented by Others

Chapter 7: Inferential Statistics

Chapter 8: Thet-Test

Chapter 9: The Correlation Coefficient

Chapter 10: Categorical Data

Chapter 11: Nonparametric Statistics

Chapter 12: Introduction to the General Linear Model

Chapter 13: Extensions of Analysis of Variance

Chapter 14: Multiple Linear Regression

Chapter 15: Other Types of Regression

Chapter 16: Other Statistical Techniques

Chapter 17: Business and Quality Improvement Statistics

Chapter 18: Medical and Epidemiological Statistics

Chapter 19: Educational and Psychological Statistics

Review of Basic Mathematics

Introduction to Statistical Packages



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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2010

    Very helpful

    As a graduate student, I am exposed to statistics constantly. This book helped make sense of what I was learning. The real-world examples of the application of various statistical methods was useful in taking abstract and complex concepts and making them more concrete and understandable. I strongly recommend it as a reference book if any of your work or life deals with statistics.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2009

    Good stat reference and text

    While many of the "Nutshell" books assume you already know the subject and simply need a reference book, Statistics In A Nutshell takes a decidedly different approach. While this book assumes you understand basic math concepts, it does not assume you have any prior background in statistics. It then proceeds to cover nearly every fundamental concept taught during an introductory statistics course.

    While many introductory statistics courses go through basic descriptive statistics and move through more advanced concepts like ANOVA or liner regression, I found that this book also covered such concepts as non-parametric tests, design of experiments, and the general linear model. Certainly, these concepts are not covered in as much depth as say a college-level courses dedicated to non-parametric statistics. However, the concepts are there, and the authors provide enough information to make the discussion valuable.

    The last few sections of the book discuss the use of statistics in a variety of professions, including manufacturing, business, medical, and education fields. Individuals who may not feel comfortable with their math skills can take comfort in the fact that the book provides a section on basic math skills, however, those who may be mathematically challenged may argue with the term "basic".

    All in all, I think this is an excellent book for individuals who are looking to implement the scientific method and statistics in their business. The author provides sound explanations of the concepts and plenty of figures and tables to explain difficult concepts. I'd highly recommend this book for the reader who is not afraid of a little math and wants to understand statistics and statistical concepts.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 9, 2009

    OK stats book

    Helpful, well arranged.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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