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Statistics: A User Friendly Guide

Gerald C. Swanson
Grey Heron Press
Publication Date: 
Number of Pages: 
[Reviewed by
Tom Schulte
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Author Gerald Swanson began his career as a chemist, moved onto nuclear analytical chemistry, and later became a behavioral scientist and taught statistics at Bastyr University in Seattle. From his varied background comes a supplemental statistics guide for an introductory statistics course. This overview starts with the very basics, such as levels of measurement, displays such as histogram, and measures of central tendency. These preliminaries assume little to no mathematical skill and extend into the first seven chapters. The final two chapters cover, with thorough examples, more advanced statistical topics, including the binomial distribution, chi square tests, and ANOVA.

This text feels like itmight be a good fit for students struggling with a first course in statistics. Non-STEM students requiring statistics in the classroom or later in their careers may find it helpful in learning or as a reference. Guiding the reader are exercises throughout. The book is self-contained and includes the typical tables for t distribution, F ratio critical values, etc.

Tom Schulte developed statistical process control (SPC) software for Plex Systems and delivers user-friendly lectures to mathematics students at Oakland Community College.

        Introduction - How to Use This Book
    1. The Fundamental Statistical Process
            What is Statistics?
            The Fundamental Statistical Process: Describing Reality
    2. Measurement
            Types of Measures
            An Approach to Distinguishing Ratio and Interval Measures
            Comparison of Levels of Scaling
    3 Population Distributions and Measures of Central Tendency
            Population Distributions
            Visual and Graphic Representations of Distributions
            Developing Your Own Population Distribution(s)
            Measures Used to Represent the Similarities
            Calculation of the Mean
        4 Measures Used to Represent the Differences
            Measures of Dispersion
            (Average Deviation)
            Variance and Standard Deviation
            An Easier Method to Calculate Variances and Standard Deviations
            Validity and Reliability
        5 Wrapping-up Descriptive Statistics
            Probability concepts
            The Normal Distribution
            "Z" Score or Standard Score
        6 Inferential Statistics
            Creating a Sample
            Sample Distributions
            Sample Statistics
            Simpler Calculations of Sample Variance and Standard Deviation
            Degrees of Freedom
            Sampling Distribution of Means
            Standard Deviation of Means
            Calculating Z Scores with Sample Values
        7 Correlation/Regression and Statistical Tests
            Correlation and Regression
            Concepts of Testing
            Levels of Significance and Confidence Intervals
            Errors Associated with Tests
            Statistical Tests
            Chi Square Test
            Sign Test
            Wilcoxon Signed-Rank Test
            "t" Test
            F Test
            Analysis of Variance
            Summary of Statistical Tests
        8 Advanced Topics
            Binomial Distribution
            Simple Proportions
            The Law of Large Numbers
            Central Limit Theorem
            Use of (n – 1) to Calculate Standard Deviations for Samples
            Validation of the Standard Deviation of the Mean Calculation
        9 Performing Statistical Tests
            The Basis of Statistical Tests
            A Word About the Use of Tables
            Chi-Square Test of Significance
            Sign Test of Significance
            Wilcoxon Signed-Ranks Test
            Student’s "t" Test of Differences Between Means
            F Test of Sample Variance
            Analysis of Variance (ANOVA)
            Appendices - Statistical Tables