Introduction to Statistics
David Lane, Rice University
As a text for an introductory course, standard topics are covered. It was nice to see some topics such as power, sampling, research design and read more
As a text for an introductory course, standard topics are covered. It was nice to see some topics such as power, sampling, research design and distribution free methods covered, as these are often omitted in abbreviated texts. Each module introduces the topic, has appropriate graphics, illustration or worked example(s) as appropriate and concluding with many exercises. An instructor’s manual is available by contacting the author. A comprehensive glossary provides definitions for all the major terms and concepts. The case studies give examples of practical applications of statistical analyses. Many of the case studies contain the actual raw data. To note is that the on-line e-book provides several calculators for the essential distributions and tests. These are provided in lieu of printed tables which are not included in the pdf. (Such tables are readily available on the web.)
The content is accurate and error free. Notation is standard and terminology is used accurately, as are the videos and verbal explanations therein. Online links work properly as do all the calculators. The text appears neutral and unbiased in subject and content.
The text achieves contemporary relevance by ending each section with a Statistical Literacy example, drawn from contemporary headlines and issues. Of course, the core topics are time proven. There is no obvious material that may become “dated”.
The text is very readable. While the pdf text may appear “sparse” by absence varied colored and inset boxes, pictures etc., the essential illustrations and descriptions are provided. Meanwhile for this same content the on-line version appears streamlined, uncluttered, enhancing the value of the active links. Moreover, the videos provide nice short segments of “active” instruction that are clear and concise. Despite being a mathematical text, the text is not overly burdened by formulas and numbers but rather has “readable feel”.
This terminology and symbol use are consistent throughout the text and with common use in the field. The pdf text and online version are also consistent by content, but with the online e-book offering much greater functionality.
The chapters and topics may be used in a selective manner. Certain chapters have no pre-requisite chapter and in all cases, those required are listed at the beginning of each module. It would be straightforward to select portions of the text and reorganize as needed. The online version is highly modular offering students both ease of navigation and selection of topics.
Chapter topics are arranged appropriately. In an introductory statistics course, there is a logical flow given the buildup to the normal distribution, concept of sampling distributions, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, regression and additional parametric and non-parametric tests. The normal distribution is central to an introductory course. Necessary precursor topics are covered in this text, while its use in significance and hypothesis testing follow, and thereafter more advanced topics, including multi-factor ANOVA. Each chapter is structured with several modules, each beginning with pre-requisite chapter(s), learning objectives and concluding with Statistical Literacy sections providing a self-check question addressing the core concept, along with answer, followed by an extensive problem set. The clear and concise learning objectives will be of benefit to students and the course instructor. No solutions or answer key is provided to students. An instructor’s manual is available by request.
The on-line interface works well. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised by its options and functionality. The pdf appears somewhat sparse by comparison to publisher texts, lacking pictures, colored boxes, etc. But the on-line version has many active links providing definitions and graphic illustrations for key terms and topics. This can really facilitate learning as making such “refreshers” integral to the new material. Most sections also have short videos that are professionally done, with narration and smooth graphics. In this way, the text is interactive and flexible, offering varied tools for students. To note is that the interactive e-book works for both IOS and OS X.
The text in pdf form appeared to free of grammatical errors, as did the on-line version, text, graphics and videos.
This text contains no culturally insensitive or offensive content. The focus of the text is on concepts and explanation.
The text would be a great resource for students. The full content would be ambitious for a 1-semester course, such use would be unlikely. The text is clearly geared towards students with no statistics background nor calculus. The text could be used in two styles of course. For 1st year students early chapters on graphs and distributions would be the starting point, omitting later chapters on Chi-square, transformations, distribution-free and size effect chapters. Alternatively, for upper level students the introductory chapters could be bypassed with the latter chapters then covered to completion. This text adopts a descriptive style of presentation with topics well and fully explained, much like the “Dummy series”. For this, it may seem a bit “wordy”, but this can well serve students and notably it complements powerpoint slides that are generally sparse on written content. This text could be used as the primary text, for regular lectures, or as reference for a “flipped” class. The e-book videos are an enabling tool if this approach is adopted.
This is a comprehensive book on statistical methods, its settings and most importantly the interpretation of the results. With the advent of read more
This is a comprehensive book on statistical methods, its settings and most importantly the interpretation of the results. With the advent of computers and software’s, complex statistical analysis can be done very easily. But the challenge is the knowledge of how to set the case, setting parameters (for example confidence intervals) and knowing its implication on the interpretation of the results. If not done properly this could lead to deceptive inferences, inadvertently or purposely. This book does a great job in explaining the above using many examples and real world case studies. If you are looking for a book to learn and apply statistical methods, this is a great one. I think the author could consider revising the title of the book to reflect the above, as it is more than just an introduction to statistics, may be include the word such as practical guide.
The contents of the book seems accurate. Some plots and calculations were randomly selected and checked for accuracy.
The book topics are up to date and in my opinion, will not be obsolete in the near future. I think the smartest thing the author has done is, not tied the book with any particular software such as minitab or spss . No matter what the software is, standard deviation is calculated the same way as it is always. The only noticeable exception in this case was using the Java Applet for calculating Z values in page 261 and in page 416 an excerpt of SPSS analysis is provided for ANOVA calculations.
The contents and examples cited are clear and explained in simple language. Data analysis and presentation of the results including mathematical calculations, graphical explanation using charts, tables, figures etc are presented with clarity.
Terminology is consistant. Framework for each chapter seems consistent with each chapter beginning with a set of defined topics, and each of the topic divided into modules with each module having a set of learning objectives and prerequisite chapters.
The text book is divided into chapters with each chapter further divided into modules. Each of the modules have detailed learning objectives and prerequisite required. So you can extract a portion of the book and use it as a standalone to teach certain topics or as a learning guide to apply a relevant topic.
Presentation of the topics are well thought and are presented in a logical fashion as if it would be introduced to someone who is learning the contents. However, there are some issues with table of contents and page numbers, for example chapter 17 starts in page 597 not 598. Also some tables and figures does not have a number, for instance the graph shown in page 114 does not have a number. Also it would have been better if the chapter number was included in table and figure identification, for example Figure 4-5 . Also in some cases, for instance page 109, the figures and titles are in two different pages.
No major issues. Only suggestion would be, since each chapter has several modules, any means such as a header to trace back where you are currently, would certainly help.
Easy to read and phrased correctly in most cases. Minor grammatical errors such as missing prepositions etc. In some cases the author seems to have the habbit of using a period after the decimal. For instance page 464, 467 etc. For X = 1, Y' = (0.425)(1) + 0.785 = 1.21. For X = 2, Y' = (0.425)(2) + 0.785 = 1.64.
However it contains some statements (even though given as examples) that could be perceived as subjective, which the author could consider citing the sources. For example from page 11: Statistics include numerical facts and figures. For instance: • The largest earthquake measured 9.2 on the Richter scale. • Men are at least 10 times more likely than women to commit murder. • One in every 8 South Africans is HIV positive. • By the year 2020, there will be 15 people aged 65 and over for every new baby born.
Solutions for the exercises would be a great teaching resource to have
This text covers all the standard topics in a semester long introductory course in statistics. It is particularly well indexed and very easy to read more
This text covers all the standard topics in a semester long introductory course in statistics. It is particularly well indexed and very easy to navigate. There is comprehensive hyperlinked glossary.
The material is completely accurate. There are no errors. The terminology is standard with one exception: the book calls what most people call the interquartile range, the H-spread in a number of places. Ideally, the term "interquartile range" would be used in place of every reference to "H-spread." "Interquartile range" is simply a better, more descriptive term of the concept that it describes. It is also more commonly used nowadays.
This book came out a number of years ago, but the material is still up to date. Some more recent case studies have been added.
The writing is very clear. There are also videos for almost every section. The section on boxplots uses a lot of technical terms that I don't find are very helpful for my students (hinge, H-spread, upper adjacent value).
The text is internally consistent with one exception that I noted (the use of the synonymous words "H-spread" and "interquartile range").
The text book is brokenly into very short sections, almost to a fault. Each section is at most two pages long. However at the end of each of these sections there are a few multiple choice questions to test yourself. These questions are a very appealing feature of the text.
The organization, in particular the ordering of the topics, is rather standard with a few exceptions. Boxplots are introduced in Chapter II before the discussion of measures of center and dispersion. Most books introduce them as part of discussion of summaries of data using measure of center and dispersion. Some statistics instructors may not like the way the text lumps all of the sampling distributions in a single chapter (sampling distribution of mean, sampling distribution for the difference of means, sampling distribution of a proportion, sampling distribution of r). I have tried this approach, and I now like this approach. But it is a very challenging chapter for students.
The book's interface has no features that distracted me. Overall the text is very clean and spare, with no additional distracting visual elements.
The book contains no grammatical errors.
The book's cultural relevance comes out in the case studies. As of this writing there are 33 such case studies, and they cover a wide range of issues from health to racial, ethnic, and gender disparity.
Each chapter as a nice set of exercises with selected answers. The thirty three case studies are excellent and can be supplement with some other online case studies. An instructor's manual and PowerPoint slides can be obtained by emailing the author. There are direct links to online simulations within the text. This text is very high quality textbook in every way.
Table of Contents
2. Graphing Distributions
3. Summarizing Distributions
4. Describing Bivariate Data
6. Research Design
7. Normal Distributions
8. Advanced Graphs
9. Sampling Distributions
11. Logic of Hypothesis Testing
12. Testing Means
15. Analysis of Variance
17. Chi Square
18. Distribution-Free Tests
19. Effect Size
20. Case Studies
About the Book
Introduction to Statistics is a resource for learning and teaching introductory statistics.
About the Contributors
David Lane is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Psychology, Statistics, and Management at the Rice University.