“This is a comprehensive text on applied Bayesian statistics. Though it is primarily aimed at social scientists with strong computational and statistical backgrounds, its scope should appeal to a wider readership. I recommend it to anybody interested in actually applying Bayesian methods.” (Significance, 1 June 2010)"As in many texts, each chapter ends with a collection of exercises which would make this text suitable for teaching a one-semester course in Bayesian methods with applications in the social sciences . . . with this small caveat, I was impressed with the text and believe it would be a worthy candidate for a first Bayesian courses that gives the student a balanced view of the theory and practice of Bayesian thinking." (The American Statistician, 1 February 2011)
From the Back Cover
The first part of this book presents the foundations of Bayesian inference, via simple inferential problems in the social sciences: proportions, cross-tabulations, counts, means and regression analysis. A review of modern, simulation-based inference is presented with a detailed examination of the suite of computational tools (Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithms) that underlie the “Bayesian revolution” in contemporary statistics. Furthermore, the book introduces the general purpose Bayesian computer programs BUGS and JAGS along with numerous examples, and a detailed consideration of the art of using these programs in real-world settings.
The second half of the book focuses on intermediate to advanced applications in the social sciences, including hierarchical or “multi-level” models, models for discrete responses (binary, ordinal, and multinomial data), measurement models (factor analysis, item-response models, dynamic linear models), and mixture models, along with models that are interesting hybrids of these models. Each model is accompanied by worked examples using BUGS/JAGS, using data from political science, sociology, psychology, education, communications, economics and anthropology.
Each chapter is accompanied with exercises to further the students' understanding of Bayesian methods and applications. Extensive appendices provide important technical background and proofs of key theoretical propositions.
This book presents a forceful argument for the philosophical and practical utility of the Bayesian approach in many social science settings. Graduate and postgraduate students in such fields as political science, sociology, psychology, communications, education, and economics and statisticians will find much value in this book.