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Refiguring Anthropology: First Principles of Probability & Statistics Hardcover – August, 1986

ISBN-13: 978-0881332230 ISBN-10: 0881332232

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 532 pages
  • Publisher: Waveland Pr Inc (August 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0881332232
  • ISBN-13: 978-0881332230
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,095,006 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Title of related interest from Waveland Press: McCloskey, Economical Writing, Second Edition (ISBN 9781577660637).

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This is one of a few books that I either read in whole or parts, as I self-studied statistics and other quant methods as grad student of anthropology. The anth prof that taught the only required stats course for my program barely understood what he was teaching, and in many cases didn't understand what SPSS was actually doing with our data. This is a grievous sin for those who'd like to incorporate quant methods into their research, because as David Thomas points out in this book, you should never use any statistical method that you don't understand. This is something that I didn't start to understand until I took a linear regression course in the psy edu dept, and truly believe now that I'm working towards a grad certification in applied stats. Go grad your copy of Russ Bernard's, Methods in Anthropological Research, and take a look at the quant section. It's one of the easiest to read and best written introductions around, and this book not only expands upon what Prof. Bernard writes, but perhaps makes the process easier and more fun.

If you're an anthro or a student, and you want to get a real sense of whether this book is worth your time, I'd suggest reading the last chapter first. In it, the author tells a story about the tribes of social science and how our particular tribe (my memory is off on the details, it's been a couple of years since I read the book) came to use stats in a limited way, and needed a guide which was in the form of the 10 Commandments of statistical inference for anthropologists. Things like stats aren't magic, so garbage data in equals garbage results out. Thou shalt not worship the p<.05 coefficient value, etc... These basic truths are common sense to any statistician, but are unknown to most cultural anthros.
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This book is essential for understanding how statistics can help the fields of anthropology (as well as how it can hurt). I would recommend this book as a primary classroom tool for any type of anthropology research methods class.
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By Wei Shi on October 1, 2009
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The condition of the book is OK. There is some note on the book but not a big problem. The context of the book is really brief and easier to understand. The example in the book is perfect, I like this book very much.
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Paired with a decent Professor, this text is straghtforward and concise. Your professor should compliment this text with more examples from his own experience.

Recommended for Anth Intro to Stats.
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