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The Cartoon Guide to Statistics 1st Edition

146 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0062731029
ISBN-10: 0062731025
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Gonick is one of a kind." -- --Discover

"Gonick is one of a kind." -- Discover

"Gonick is so consistently witty and clever that the reader is barely aware of being given a thorough grounding." -- --Omni

"Gonick is so consistently witty and clever that the reader is barely aware of being given a thorough grounding." -- Omni

From the Back Cover

If you have ever looked for P-values by shopping at P mart, tried to watch the Bernoulli Trials on People's Court, or think that the standard deviation is a criminal offense in six states, then you need The Cartoon Guide to Statistics to put you on the road to statistical literacy.

The Cartoon Guide to Statistics covers all the central ideas of modern statistics: the summary and display of all data, probability in gambling and medicine, random variables, Bernoulli Trials, the Central Limit Theorem, hypothesis testing, confidence interval estimation, and much more--all explained in simple, clear, and funny illustrations. Never again will you order the Poisson Distribution in a French restaurant!

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 230 pages
  • Publisher: HarperPerennial; 1 edition (1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062731025
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062731029
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (146 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,409 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

368 of 373 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 3, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is exceptional in its ability to communicate difficult concepts in a light and entertaining manner. It seems to me that those who gave this book low ratings seem to think that the book should have magically imparted its knowledge upon them with no effort on their part.
Indeed, although Gonick presents the details via cartoons, that does not change the fact that "Sigma" is still "Sigma", and if you don't understand exactly what "Sigma" represents before moving on to the next concept, then you will not understand the subsequent lessons.
ie. Just because cartoons tell the tale, it doesn't mean that you will breeze through this book as you might a comic book. The individual concepts must be read and reread and perhaps even contemplated in order to truly understand each one before moving on to the next concept. If you do not do this, then, of course, nothing will make sense.
This is a book of statistics, not miracles...thus work will still be necessary in order to absorb the basic concepts within it.
Nevertheless, this book is far clearer and much more fun to read than any other stat book I've opened before. Very highly recommended.
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132 of 134 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 27, 1999
Format: Paperback
Probability theory (uncertainty, error estimates, confidence intervals, "p-values" and the like) take time to understand, and rigorous approaches fail to get the concepts across to the non-mathemetician.
Gonick & Woolcott's Cartoon Guide to Statistics gets the ideas across with a minimum of math, and a maximum of "common sense" & (dare I say it?) intuition. The reader get's a FEEL for Probability and Statistics without violating the rigorous underpinnings of statistical theory.
I've taught Statistics to undergrad and grad students, and have had to teach into stats to Grad Students in 7 week Summer short courses, and I required everybody to buy exactly the same statistics calculator (one of the TI models with a couple chapters devoted to the mechanics of "doing statistics"), Cliff Notes _Statistics_, Darryl Huff's _How_to_Lie_With_Statistics_ (a classic cartoon guide I read decades ago) and Gonick's _Cartoon_Guide_to_Statistics_.
The 4 paperbacks (including the book that comes with the TI calculator) complement each other very well.
If you want to learn Statistics, without the standard Sadistics, I recommend Cliff, Huff, T.I. & Gonick. Enjoy!
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62 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Eric C on February 14, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book was included in the materials for a business statistics class at Anderson. Bogged down by the reading from the course book and study guide, I didn't even open the cartoon guide for weeks, thinking it was probably too dumbed down to be helpful. Was I ever wrong. Concepts that were very difficult to understand in the course book were elucidated by the excellent examples and explanations in this guide. Made reviewing general concepts for the final exam much easier as well.
This book won't help you much in the practical application of statistics (for that you need problem sets), but will certainly aid in understanding the general ideas behind the math.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By C M on July 3, 2002
Format: Paperback
I disagree with the reviewer who thought the book was not useful for those without a grasp of basic statistics. Gonick presents the material in a comical, yet cogent manner designed specifically for those who might otherwise never grasp WHY and HOW they might use statistics.
The truth is most college level statistics courses start with the development of a theory and only move to practical applications if there is time. Gonick presents a series of real-world problems and works backwards to the theory; a method I have seen work well in the business world. The book is not meant to be an exhaustive resource for graduate level statistics and analysis, but rather a better way for educated users to grasp the application of statistics to understandable problems.
We used this book to help acclimate freshly minted graduates to statistical analysis in banking, financial services and marketing. Every person to whom we gave a copy was very pleased with the book.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By JVerkuilen on January 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
Statistics is a very difficult subject both to learn and teach. I wish I'd discovered this book after I'd been through the first formal class--except it wasn't written then. :) Well anyway, the CGtS is a useful book and I've recommended it to many people, all of whom got a fair amount of mileage from it. You certainly need further references, but the examples are lucid and the silly cartoons help keep people from getting too overwhelmed by seriousness. I also like the fact that the authors go through some of the history of statistics, as the subject is much more comprehensible if you know why people did what they did.
Someone mentioned getting SPSS--this is, IMO, a terrible way to learn the topic. Packages should come AFTER understanding, not the other way around. If you want a computer program to help out, use a spreadsheet.
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57 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Dave_42 on May 2, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a good introductory level look at Statistics. The authors cover what the subject of Statistics is, the history of Statistics, some of the theories and terms, and also shows some applications of the subject.

The weakness of the book is that there are a lot of formulas given and not enough discussion of how those formulas are derived, so one would need to use other statistics texts to supplement the material. Thus this book cannot stand alone. On the other hand, if one is just trying to get an overview of the subject, then there is a lot to skip over. The authors do make a humorous presentation of the material, so those that are looking for an overview may find this a more enjoyable introduction to the subject.

There is also a lot to do with Statistics that the book does not mention. It does cover probabilities, but when it comes to distributions it focuses only on Standard Normal distributions. I don't believe it ever mentions Uniform, Poisson, or other types of distributions which most Statistics courses cover.

The best part of the book is the examples, some of which are carried through for several chapters to help the reader better understand the subject. Although, even with the examples they are a bit inconsistent in their presentation. For example, in one case they started to discuss the use of statistics to compare the salaries of male and female employees in the same job, but they never complete the discussion. The examples of racial bias in jury selection, and the gas mileage comparison of two different types of gas are much more complete.

This is a decent book, but not up to the level of Gonick's excellent "Cartoon History of the Universe" series, and not strong enough to give it more than three stars.
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