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Head First Statistics: A Brain-Friendly Guide 1st Edition
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From the Publisher
About 'Head First' Books
We think of a Head First Reader as a Learner
Learning isn't something that just happens to you. It's something you do. You can't learn without pumping some neurons. Learning means building more mental pathways, bridging connections between new and pre-existing knowledge, recognizing patterns, and turning facts and information into knowledge (and ultimately, wisdom). Based on the latest research in cognitive science, neurobiology, and educational psychology, Head First books get your brain into learning mode.
Here's how we help you do that:
We tell stories using casual language, instead of lecturing. We don't take ourselves too seriously. Which would you pay more attention to: a stimulating dinner party companion, or a lecture?
We make it visual. Images are far more memorable than words alone, and make learning much more effective. They also make things more fun.
We use attention-grabbing tactics. Learning a new, tough, technical topic doesn't have to be boring. The graphics are often surprising, oversized, humorous, sarcastic, or edgy. The page layout is dynamic: no two pages are the same, and each one has a mix of text and images.
Metacognition: thinking about thinking
If you really want to learn, and you want to learn more quickly and more deeply, pay attention to how you pay attention. Think about how you think. The trick is to get your brain to see the new material you're learning as Really Important. Crucial to your well-being. Otherwise, you're in for a constant battle, with your brain doing its best to keep the new content from sticking.
Here's what we do:
We use pictures, because your brain is tuned for visuals, not text. As far as your brain's concerned, a picture really is worth a thousand words. And when text and pictures work together, we embedded the text in the pictures because your brain works more effectively when the text is within the thing the text refers to, as opposed to in a caption or buried in the text somewhere.
We use redundancy, saying the same thing in different ways and with different media types, and multiple senses, to increase the chance that the content gets coded into more than one area of your brain.
We use concepts and pictures in unexpected ways because your brain is tuned for novelty, and we use pictures and ideas with at least some emotional content, because your brain is more likely to remember when you feel something.
We use a personalized, conversational style, because your brain is tuned to pay more attention when it believes you're in a conversation than if it thinks you're passively listening to a presentation.
We include many activities, because your brain is tuned to learn and remember more when you do things than when you read about things. And we make the exercises challenging-yet-do-able, because that's what most people prefer.
We use multiple learning styles, because you might prefer step-by-step procedures, while someone else wants to understand the big picture first, and someone else just wants to see an example. But regardless of your own learning preference, everyone benefits from seeing the same content represented in multiple ways.
We include content for both sides of your brain, because the more of your brain you engage, the more likely you are to learn and remember, and the longer you can stay focused. Since working one side of the brain often means giving the other side a chance to rest, you can be more productive at learning for a longer period of time.
We include challenges by asking questions that don't always have a straight answer, because your brain is tuned to learn and remember when it has to work at something.
Finally, we use people in our stories, examples, and pictures, because, well, you're a person. Your brain pays more attention to people than to things.
About the Author
Dawn Griffiths started life as a mathematician at a top UK university. She was awarded a First-Class Honours degree in Mathematics, and was offered a university scholarship to undertake a PhD studying particularly rare breeds of differential equations. She moved away from academia when she realized that people would stop talking to her at parties, and went on to pursue a career in software development instead. She currently combines IT consultancy with writing and mathematics.
When Dawn's not working on Head First books, you'll find her honing her Tai Chi skills, making bobbin lace or cooking nice meals. She hasn't yet mastered the art of doing all three at the same time.
She also enjoys traveling, and spending time with her lovely husband, David.
- Item Weight : 2.85 pounds
- Paperback : 718 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0596527586
- ISBN-13 : 978-0596527587
- Dimensions : 8 x 1.5 x 9.25 inches
- Publisher : O'Reilly Media; 1st edition (September 9, 2008)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #75,800 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Head First is pretty painless learning, too - I have enjoyed each subject I have learned through the Head First series, to the point if I need to learn something new, I first try to find a Head First book! My wife (a teacher) says the series is pedagogically correct too in how it hits your brain in multiple ways, helping your new knowledge to lock into your brain.
The greatest strength of this book is the progressive way it builds understanding by clearly explaining exactly what each statistical function means, what the results of each function shows about the data, and when it should-- and shouldn't-- be applied. By the end, anyone who reads carefully and does the exercises will have a pretty firm grip on the essentials of statistical analysis.
The book is unusual in its concept and design, too. The concepts are served up in easily digestible bites with lots of graphics, useful sidebars containing supplemental information, and exercises based on practical, real-world cases. No math beyond basic algebra is necessary for doing any of the exercises in the book. Finally, the tone is light and conversational, but it isn't at all condescending or cutsie.
This most certainly is not an advanced textbook or a comprehensive reference manual. However, for anyone who needs an introductory text or a review for a stats exam, this is the book to get. I recommend it most highly.
Top reviews from other countries
A great book!