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Statistics, 4th Edition 4th Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 71 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0393929720
ISBN-10: 0393929728
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

David Freedman received his B.Sc. from McGill and his Ph.D. from Princeton. He has worked as a consultant for the City of San Francisco, the County of Los Angeles, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the U.S. Department of Justice. He has written several previous books and numerous technical papers. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and teaches at the University of California, Berkeley.

Robert Pisani received his B.A. and Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley. His research interests include probability models of market-price behavior and the statistical valuation of financial instruments.

Roger Purves received his B.A. at the University of British Columbia and his Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley, where he currently teaches. His research interests are in the mathematical foundations of probability theory.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 720 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 4th edition (February 13, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393929728
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393929720
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.7 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,710 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I used the first edition of this book in a class I took at Berkeley back in 1989. I again turned to it for a self-study refresher recently and found it's intuitive style quite refreshing and even kinda fun. This book teaches the concepts without all the noise and distraction of more recent books that try to throw in every new technique and software application they can think of. This book is a classic in the field, on a level with Sylvanus Thompson's Calculus Made Easy. No, it won't be the last stats book you ever buy but it will get you up to speed fast and allow you to work much faster through more advanced texts and with a deeper understanding for the theory.

I do have one complaint. I like math and at a few points I wanted to tell the authors to quit teasing me and just give me the equation already. For example, they take several sections of text to introduce correlation and linear regression before finally introducing the actual linear equation. Maybe it's better to introduce it that way, I'm not a teacher. Others have mentioned the lack of standard nomenclature in this book but I can't see how that would be more than a minor inconvenience moving to a more advanced text. Another reviewer mentioned Statistics Unplugged by Sally Caldwell. I also have that book and though it has more standard nomenclature, I found it to be "wordy" and not as intuitive as the book in this review.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm not a "math person," and was compelled to take an Introductory Statistics course as the final math class toward my BA. I approached the course with preconceptions after hearing horror stories from other humanities folks about failure, shipwreck, plagues of locusts, and thoughts of suicide.

This is one of the top half-dozen texts of my entire college career.

Not only do the authors make statistics accessible and even fun, they do so in a consistently smart style that simultaneously simplifies statistical concepts while not pandering in the quality of language overall, or occasions for clever asides. While many professors will end up using modern calculators for the problems, the text bases its lessons on the use of tables (normal, t, and chi-square). I found myself following both the professor and, electively, the text for a more full understanding of "old school" methods. Each chapter has enough embedded problems (with answers at the end of the text) that the reviews and other materials provided by my professor were often redundant. I wish I had access to the answers for each chapter review questions, but that can hardly be a criticism in my "student" copy of the text.

I'll be revisiting this book long after I've ceased being a student. It has helped me have more informed attitudes about statistical products in general, which I suppose was a point of the course and the text.
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Format: Hardcover
This text was used in an Introductory Statistics course I took at Western Michigan University. I found it to be a delightful book that was designed for students with no or little background in statistics. It attempts to take everyday events and show how statistics can be used to make inferences from them. The book does have worked out problems in the back and answers for selected problems in the text.
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Format: Hardcover
I am not a statistics major, nor do I tend to excel in mathematics, but I am capable of achieving if I put enough energy into a subject...that wasn't the case with my stat class last semester, which used this textbook.

This book takes the role of a friendly teacher who dumbs down the material so we "not-so-mathy" students can understand what's going on. The problem, however, is that this book speaks in riddles, teaches in examples, stories, and fake conversations between mathematicians of the past, and doesn't spell out in any clear way what the method is for solving certain types of questions. Also, after using this text for Stat I, I moved on to take Stat II and was pretty lost. In Stat II, they use "scary" language such as p, q, n, instead of "big number" "small number" and "box" (which is used in this text). I found it was much easier for my mind to grasp the consistency and methodology of statistics when using a different, more "advanced" texbook.

Stat can be a very difficult thing to understand when you're treated like a baby. Even my TAs hated this textbook, which kind of says a lot (mainly that a lot of students are confused, and can't get any help from outside tutors who don't speak the pseudo-stat language of this book)

I would not recommend this text to anyone. If you're thinking about taking a Stat class where this text is used, you'd be better off waiting a semester until you can enroll in a class where the teacher values actually learning statistical language.
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Format: Hardcover
I strongly disagree with the negative reviews here. This text is not intended to teach recipes for solving textbook style problems. It teaches the statistical thinking and decision making that goes into statistical analyses--very different from just plopping down a bunch of formulas that are already built into $50 calculators. I teach statistics courses for mathematics majors, math minors, statistics minors, and actuarial studies minors. I want them to start here, with the most excellent text, so that I can teach them theory and formulas later.

I will admit that some of the examples and language are dated. Fine. But, explaining things in language that most can understand AND showing what some common statistical methods actually explain or do not explain--that's a win-win.

If more people used this book, I bet we'd see a lot less "linear regression" models masquerading as statistical analysis when those models should never have been used in the first place.

Thinking, asking questions, understanding what results really mean--if you want that from your students, use this book.
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