Statistics for People Who (Think They) Hate Statistics: Using Microsoft Excel 2016 4th Edition

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Book Preface

This is the fourth edition of Statistics for People Who (Thinh Tltcy) Hate Statistics, Excel 2016 Edition (and also features the 2016 Macintosh version of Excel) and it was as much fun (really!) writing this revision as it was writing the earlier ones. I hope that the use of the book helps you and that the entire experience is interesting and productive.

What many of the students who study statistics, as well as people in various other roles (researchers, administrators, and professionals in many different fields) , have in common (at least at the beginning of the course) is a relatively high level of anxiety, the origin of which is, more often than not, what they’ve 11eard from their fellow students. Often, a small part of what they have heard is truelearning statistics takes an investment of time and effort (and there’s the occasional monster for a teacher).

But most of what they’ve heard (and where most of the anxiety comes from)-that statistics is unbearably difficult and confusingis just not true. Thousands of fear-struck students have succeeded where they thought they would fail. They did it by taking one thing at a time, pacing themselves, seeing illustrations of basic principles as they are applied to real-life settings, and even having some fun (see the recipe for delicious brownies in Appendix F) along the way. That’s what I tried to do in writing all the editions of Statistics for People Who (Tltinh They) Hate Statistics, and I tried even harder in completing this latest revision.

After a great deal of trial and error, and some successful and many unsuccessful attempts, I have learned to teach statistics in a way that I (and many of my students) think is unintimidating and informative. I have tried my absolute best to incorporate all of that experience into this book.

What you will learn from this Statistics for People … is the information you need to understand what the field and study of basic statistics is all about. You’ll learn about the fundamental ideas and the most commonly used techniques to organize and make sense out of data. There’s very little theory (but some), and there are few mathematical proofs or discussion of the rationale for certain mathematical routines. And, for this Excel edition, you’ll also learn how to better understand the world of statistics through the use of an easy-to-use, and powerful, tool.

Why isn’t theory and other stuff in Statistics for People Who (ThinJz Tltey) Hate Statistics? Simple. Right now, you don’t need it. It’s not that I don’t think it is important. Rather, at this point and time in your studies, I want to offer you material at a level I think you can understand and learn with some reasonable amount of effort, while at the same time not be scared off from taking additional courses in the future. I (and your professor) want you to succeed. So, if you are looking for a detailed unraveling of the derivation
of the analysis of variance F ratio, go find another good book from SAGE Publications (I’ll be glad to refer you to one). But if you want to learn why and how statistics can work for you, you’re in the right place. This book will help you understand the material you read in journal articles, explain what the results of many statistical analyses mean, and teach you how to perform basic statistical work.

And, if you want to talk about any aspect of teaching or learning statistics, feel free to contact me. You can do this through my email address at school ([email protected]). You can also keep up on anything new regarding this edition (and all versions of Statistics for People … ) at http://edge.sagepub.com/salkindexcel4e.

Good luck, and let me know how I can improve this book to even better meet the needs of the beginning statistics student.