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Statistics? Who understands them?

An Introduction and Quick Reference to Using and Understanding Statistics

coverIf you try to participate in the modern world without an understanding of statistics, you're operating at a disadvantage. "Statistical concepts are often used and abused in the popular media," says author Sarah Boslaugh, "and the best defense is to become statistically literate. Also, one or two semesters of statistics are a common requirement in many university majors and professionals often find that they need to learn statistics more or less on the job, long after they thought their formal education was complete."

In short, most everyone needs to have a grasp of statistics. Fortunately, Boslaugh and her coauthor Paul Andrew Watters have made it easy to master the subject with their new book, "Statistics in a Nutshell". It's a clear and concise introduction and reference that's perfect for anyone with no previous background in the subject. The book gives you a solid understanding of statistics without being too simple, yet without the numbing complexity (and price tag) of most college texts.

With "Statistics in a Nutshell," you'll 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 the 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.

Sarah Boslaugh holds a PhD in Research and Evaluation from the City University of New York and has been working as a statistical analyst for 15 years. She has taught statistics in several different contexts and currently teaches Intermediate Statistics at Washington University Medical School. She has published two previous books on statistics and is currently editing the Encyclopedia of Epidemiology for SAGE Publications (forthcoming, 2007).

Dr. Paul A. Watters is 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. He is also an honorary senior research fellow at University College London. Dr. Watters is the project manager for the MRC's Data Access Project, and is presently investigating methods for securing investigator access to public health data in large-scale distributed systems in a challenging ethical and legal environment.

coverStatistics in a Nutshell
Sarah Boslaugh and Paul Andrew Watters

O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.


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