- Publisher: Allyn & Bacon; 1 edition (September 1, 1981)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0024040908
- ISBN-13: 978-0024040909
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 14 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #268,656 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Statistics Without Tears: A Primer for Non Mathematicians 1st Edition
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Given the positive reviews here, I purchased this book, thinking it would be a magic bullet. It isn't. I was sorely disappointed in the depth (and length) of the text.
However, the author achieves what he sets out to do -- create a readable statistics book without any mathematical formulas.
Rowntree's text does provide a good overview in very general and broad terms on statistical topics in layman's terms. It is consciously targeted towards non-mathematicians, and provides a great resource for understanding basic statistical topics. This book is for people who must casually digest and interpret statistics, and not for those of us who need to produce them.
This thin paperback is a relatively quick read. There are no exercises, just descriptive examples woven into the text, punctuated by a few questions.
Reading this won't make you pass a statistics final, nor will it make you an expert. It will, however, introduce you to a high level view of statistics.
One of the things that help me decide whether or not to buy a book is the table of contents. I hope the information below is useful.
How to use this book.
1. Statistical inquiry.
Making sense of experience.
What is statistics?
Descriptive and inferential statistics.
Collecting a sample.
2. Describing our sample.
Error, accuracy and approximations.
3. Summarizing our data.
Tables and diagrams.
Central tendency (averages).
Measures of dispersion.
4. The shape of a distribution.
Introducing the normal distribution.
Proportions under the normal curve.
5. From sample to population.
Estimates and inferences.
The logic of sampling.
A distribution of sample-means.
Estimating the population-mean.
Estimating other parameters.
6. Comparing samples.
From the same or different populations?
The significance of significance.
7. Further matters of significance.
One- versus two-tailed tests.
z-tests and t-tests.
Comparing several means.
8. Analysing relationships.
Three kinds of correlation.
The strength of a correlation.
The significance of a correlation coefficient.
Interpreting a correlation coefficient.
Prediction and regression.
* have always had problems with math, and have to take a stats course.
* had stats years ago in high school or college, and now have to take another course with the elementary course as a prerequisite.
* want to be able to explain the concepts better to others.
* took a class, but are not sure what they really know.
Rowntree, in addition to explaining the basics, has short assignments that he asks the reader to complete before proceeding on in the chapter (use a 3x5 card to cover the answer while figuring out the problem). It is a nice and effective technique for this book.
Effective, helpful, inexpensive (there are plenty of copies around for under $10), in many libraries, and readable. Try it!
Several books I have read written for "non-mathematicians" have not fit the bill, but this book explains statistics in a way that an average person can understand.
A friend of mine says that he recommends this book to friends when they are having difficulty in college statistics courses; it is an excellent tool for explaining concepts in a subject that mathematics instructors sometimes do not explain well.
I also think this book would be good for people who do not need to do the math side of statistics but need to understand some basic concepts. For example, in an Introductory Research Methods or Introductory Survey methods course. Also, if you are using measurement instruments (like surveys, personality measures, etc.) and do not have any statistical training, you should at least read this book!
Most recent customer reviews
I "hated" stats!! Not really! The truth is I have been fearful of stats for a long long time.Read more