A guide to choosing and using the right techniques
High-speed computers and prepackaged statistical routines would seem to take much of the guesswork out of statistical analysis and lend its applications readily accessible to all. Yet, as Phillip Good and James Hardin persuasively argue, statistical software no more makes one a statistician than a scalpel makes one a surgeon. Choosing the proper technique and understanding the analytical context is of paramount importance to the proper application of statistics. The highly readable Common Errors in Statistics (and How to Avoid Them) provides both newly minted academics and professionals who use statistics in their work with a handy field guide to statistical problems and solutions.
Good and Hardin begin their handbook by establishing a mathematically rigorous but readily accessible foundation for statistical procedures. They focus on debunking popular myths, analyzing common mistakes, and instructing readers on how to choose the appropriate statistical technique to address their specific task. A handy checklist is provided to summarize the necessary steps.
Topics covered include:
* Creating a research plan
* Formulating a hypothesis
* Specifying sample size
* Checking assumptions
* Interpreting p-values and confidence intervals
* Building a model
* Data mining
* Bayes' Theorem, the bootstrap, and many others
Common Errors in Statistics (and How to Avoid Them) also contains reprints of classic articles from statistical literature to re-examine such bedrock subjects as linear regression, the analysis of variance, maximum likelihood, meta-analysis, and the bootstrap. With a final emphasis on finding solutions and on the great value of statistics when applied in the proper context, this book will prove eminently useful to students and professionals in the fields of research, industry, medicine, and government.
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PHILLIP I. GOOD, PhD, is an Operations Manager for Information Research in Huntington Beach, California. He is the author of A Manager’s Guide to the Design and Conduct of Clinical Trials, published by Wiley, as well as numerous other books.
JAMES W. HARDIN, PhD, is a lecturer and Assistant Research Scientist in the Department of Statistics at Texas A&M University.
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