Chapter 1. The Basics

There's only a small group of tools that statisticians use to explore the world, answer questions, and solve problems. It is the way that statisticians use probability or knowledge of the normal distribution to help them out in different situations that varies. This chapter presents these basic hacks.

Taking known information about a distribution and expressing it as a probability [Hack #1] is an essential trick frequently used by stat-hackers, as is using a tiny bit of sample data to accurately describe all the scores in a larger population [Hack #2]. Knowledge of basic rules for calculating probabilities [Hack #3] is crucial, and you gotta know the logic of significance testing if you want to make statistically-based decisions [Hacks #4 and #8].

Minimizing errors in your guesses [Hack #5] and scores [Hack #6] and interpreting your data [Hack #7] correctly are key strategies that will help you get the most bang for your buck in a variety of situations. And successful stat-hackers have no trouble recognizing what the results of any organized set of observations or experimental manipulation really mean [Hacks #9 and #10].

Learn to use these core tools, and the later hacks will be a breeze to learn and master.

Statistics Hacks
Statistics Hacks: Tips & Tools for Measuring the World and Beating the Odds
ISBN: 0596101643
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2004
Pages: 114
Authors: Bruce Frey

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