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# Naked Statistics: Stripping the Dread from the Data

Once considered tedious, the field of statistics is rapidly evolving into a discipline Hal Varian, chief economist at Google, has actually called “sexy.” From batting averages and political polls to game shows and medical research, the real-world application of statistics continues to grow by leaps and bounds. How can we catch schools that cheat on standardized tests? How
...more

Hardcover, 260 pages

Published
January 7th 2013
by W. W. Norton & Company
(first published December 31st 2012)

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## Community Reviews

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The truth is that students of statistics today can use Excel, SPSS, Stata an ...more

More importantly, people: YOU NEED TO KNOW THIS STUFF. This is how you separate the lies from the damn lies from the nonsense that TV news shows spew at you. I don't care if you read THIS one, but please just fucking read a book about statistics. THANK you.

There are 3 categories of readers who would enjoy or benefit from this book:

1. People who are generally curious about things and want to know why someone might say that statistics is becoming 'sexy'.

2. People who are just starting a statistics 101 class, or are about to, and would like some motivation.

3. People who know a fair bit about statistics but who would like a little perspective and history.

Wheelan, as advertised, is an entertaining writer who sort of draws you in with litt ...more

I could see myself engaging the students with really cool stories, confuse them with fun probability examples, only to wittily explain it clearly a minute later. I would pursue the connection between probability and inference and they would all clearly understand hypothesis testing. I would give great tales of statistics being misused and the students and I would chuckle together over how ...more

Wheelan is an excellent writer and balances the accuracy and precision needed to talk about statistics with an easy-going and humorous style. Like any well-balanced popular science book, this one comes chock full of anecdotes and stories to help solidify the concepts explored in the text. In this book Wheelan tackles descriptive statistics, probability, inference, polling, regression and the various ways to perver ...more

This book is an excellent recommendation to students just starting statistics as it gives practical and engaging examples of statistics and easy to follow. For those who already have a broad understanding of statistical topics as well as commonly used e ...more

Aug 09, 2014
Anoud
rated it
4 of 5 stars
·
review of another edition

Shelves:
non-fiction,
read-in-usa

Definitely one of the very good books I have read recently. Whether you are a statistics geek or simply interested in research and studies, you would fall for this book.

It basically focuses on two aspects; first, explaining some fundamental concepts in statistics like Regression Analysis, Standard Deviation...etc and showing how these concepts are applied in real-life cases. On the other hands, it discusses the hidden pitfalls associated with using these tools/concepts.

I have always believed t ...more

It basically focuses on two aspects; first, explaining some fundamental concepts in statistics like Regression Analysis, Standard Deviation...etc and showing how these concepts are applied in real-life cases. On the other hands, it discusses the hidden pitfalls associated with using these tools/concepts.

I have always believed t ...more

In the unfolding Age of Big Data, no one who hopes to understand the way the world works can afford to be ignorant of statistical methods. Not a day goes by that statistical analysis isn’t behind some front-page story — in politics, sports, business, or even entertainment. The statistical concepts of probability, sampling, and statistical validity, once considered obscure and of interest only to geeks wearing pocket p ...more

"The point of statistics is not to do myriad rigorous mathematical calculations; the point is to gain insight into meaningful social phenomena. Statistical inference is really just the marriage of two concepts that we've already discussed: data and probability (with a little help from the central limit theorem)." Given this emphasis I think almost anyone, with no background in statistics, could get a good feel for the meaning ...more

*Naked Statistics*, but I do however think that Wheelan's book will serve as a useful reference book for me regarding the purpose and power of probability and statistics and how they can serve as powerful tools for very practical problems. Wheelan demonstrates that statistics basically provide people with a tool for a precise measurement of something people think worthy of measuring, for example the effects of smaller class ...more

Wheelan does an excellent job of explaining not just *what* a specific aspect of statistics is, but why and how it is used in practice. And he goes all out to inject humor and anecdotes into the chapters of the book.

I can't c ...more

This book explains the Gambler's fallacy, the Monty Hall problem, how information can (and can't) be extracted from population samples, how DNA evidence is used/abus ...more

He writes in a ...more

What I was looking for was a clear, plain English explanation of key statistical concepts that make sense in an i ...more

Naked Statistics is a whirlwind tour of statistics with the basic concepts explained extremely well and illustrated wi ...more

Feb 10, 2014
Nat
added it

Most interesting is the discussion of "natural experiments", in which events create "a treatment and control group by accident" (p.231). For example, researchers want to know whether putting more police on the street reduces crime. You can't find the answer by simply looking at crime rates and numbers of police on the streets in different cities because of an overwhelming number of potential confounding factors. But the system of terror alerts in Washington D.C., in which a high terror alert put
...more

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Jul 30, 2013 03:33AM