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Naked Statistics: Stripping the Dread from the Data
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Naked Statistics: Stripping the Dread from the Data


3.94  ·  Rating details ·  9,714 ratings  ·  929 reviews
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
Paperback, 282 pages
Published January 13th 2014 by W. W. Norton Company (first published December 31st 2012)
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Average rating 3.94  · 
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 ·  9,714 ratings  ·  929 reviews

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☘Misericordia☘ ~ The Serendipity Aegis ~  ⚡ϟ⚡ϟ⚡⛈ ✺❂❤❣
Cool and easy. Even though I would have liked more advanced stuff made easy and cheesy.
Robert Muller
I couldn't get through this book, mainly because I know too much about statistics and I know too much about the specific examples he gives to illustrate his points. Unfortunately, while at times Wheelan does convey the underlying concepts of probability and statistics in a way that would help you understand them at a basic level, he does so in what I would regard as a patronizingly oversimplified way. If you compare this book to Nate Silver's book on prediction or, indeed, to the book he says mo ...more
Jun 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are many popular science books that try to teach basic statistical concepts, but more often than not they fall into the awful popular science trope of narrative over concepts that Malcolm Gladwell introduced into science writing and then Jonah Lehrer perfected into an awful, horrible art. Take Nate Silver's lauded book 'The Signal and the Noise'. Each chapter is about some specific area of prediction, and along the way some statistical concepts are introduced but rarely elaborated [I will ...more
Jun 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have already talked about statistics here, and not in good terms. It was mostly related to Nicholas Nassim Taleb`s works, The Black Swan and Antifragile. But this does not mean statistics are bad. They may just be dangerous when used stupidly. It is what Charles Wheelan explains among other things in Naked Statistics. Naked Statistics belongs to the group of Popular Science. Americans often have a talent to explain science for a general audience. Wheelan has it too. So if you do not know about ...more
Mar 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: data-science
A solid five-star. If only I had had Charles Wheelan as my college statistics professor! :)
The synopsis on Goodreads was a good review,so I'll save some ink here.
These were all basic statistic concepts, from probability to regression. While breaking down the basic concepts, Wheelan sought to caltivate intuition around them. And he did a fantastic job. Better yet, he made me chuckle all the time with those funny, sometimes provocative real-life examples.
Some of the examples, like the route cause
May 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Good intro book for aspiring to be statistician.
Simple explanation for very complicated concepts.
Dan Lutts
Feb 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: consumerism
Excellent book for the layperson that gives you a solid grasp of statistics as well as how statistics can be used and abused. As Wheelan says in the book: Statistics don't lie, but the data behind them can because they can be faulty, misleading, or downright false.

Reading the book helps you become more critical so you won't naively believe a person or organization's argument when they cite statistics to support their case or when you read about scientific breakthroughs in the newspaper or other
This is not the most exciting book ever, but it's way more exciting than you would think for a book about statistics.
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.
Jan 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Being a mathematics and statistics teacher, of course I am inclined to enjoy a statistics book. There were times I found myself a bit bored because I was being explained basic statistical concepts of which I already possess a wider understanding.

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
May 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mathematics
Very engaging.

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
Aug 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
How good is this book? After reading "Naked Statistics" I wanted to teach an introductory statistics course!

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
Elizabeth Theiss
Jul 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
An amusing, clear, and even fun introduction to basic statistics and probability, this gem explains foundational concepts and provides compelling examples to illuminate them. It covers correlation, normal distributions, the central limit theorem, significance, standard error, multiple regression, and so on in a way that math-phobes can likely handle without panic attacks. I wish I had read this before taking grad stats.

The truth is that students of statistics today can use Excel, SPSS, Stata an
Feb 10, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was too frustrated with the author's tone to finish. He introduces the book by explaining why he doesn't like calculus. He recalls "schooling" his high school calculus teacher when his class was given the wrong version of the AP Calculus exam. The story felt unfitting and painted the author as a punk, and the tone continues. To paraphrase an example of accuracy vs. precision, "'Go through two lights, take a left at the second light and I'm the tthird house on the right' is accurate, 'I live 4. ...more
Jun 27, 2014 rated it it was ok
Statistics 101 with cheesy jokes.
Another good Wheelan, similar to Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science. There are a few topics that overlap a bit, but the author does a good job of keeping them separate. This has much of the personal anecdotes / history that make the topic more interesting, and the author includes more silly scenarios in this one which keep you engaged, such as the continually missing & crashing buses of marathon runners and sausage festival attendees. Unfortunately, the third quarter of the book gets ...more
Morgan Blackledge
Jan 30, 2019 rated it liked it
I read this as a supplemental text for a statistics course. Its pretty good in terms of providing fun examples of statistics constructs, written in an accessible, punchy, relatable voice.

I think I was a little underwhelmed because other authors have written really well on the same subject e.g. The Signal And The Noise by Nate Sliver, The Black Swan (or really anything) by Nassim Nicholas Taleb and the Drunkard's Walk by Leonard Mlodinow.

I LOVED all of those books, and they are extremely tough a
Nov 23, 2017 rated it liked it
This book is a great primer for those who are not familiar with basic statistical concepts (in fact, I encourage you to read it as statistics can be highly manipulative). If you have completed at least one university-level statistics course or the equivalent then you can safely pass on this book (most advanced topics: OLS regression and t-statistics).
Sep 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Naked Statistics by Charles Wheelan

Numbers are sexy. There’s no denying it. People like numbers and measuring things. They like seeing the ranking of their favourite sports stars, hearing what the latest political polls are saying or just knowing what CPI is doing. But for all this, many people might not know how these numbers such as ranks, sampling means, indexes etc, are actually derived and how they can be best used or questioned. If you’re interested in this topic (and there is a good chanc
Elizabeth Davis
Jan 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: work
Actually a pretty good book for building your conceptual understanding of statistics. Starts almost frustratingly simple, but eventually explores interesting and foundational concepts like the central limit theorem and multiple regression analysis.

Charles Wheelan is a pretty good writer and the book reads well with lots of entertaining digressions. And a lot of the studies explored in the book were interesting, and allowed for compelling real-world examples of the book’s concepts.

But some exam
Sandesh Rawat
Jan 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Exactly what I expected this book to be -- a compelling read on Statistics and its practical usage. The language is easy to read and examples given are super witty and relatable. For instance, I could totally relate the test vs control methodology that I'd used for one of my clients and few things that should have been more careful about. Charles shares all complex/technical stuff in Appendix at the end of respective chapters (so it's up to you if you want to get into the dirty stuff).

The book i
Taufan Satrio
May 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This should've been a supplementary reading material during my college years. It altered my sentiment towards Statistics and Probability to the point where curiosity and intuition can take its place and do their job. Its concise writing and examples will help you dissect unfathomable formulas, find their core concept, and make you smile while you're at it
May 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: next
Mandatory reading for those just getting into statistics and those already familiar with it. Totally focusing on the "why" with interesting examples and gotchas. Ensures you will ask the right questions in most practical applications of statistics. I'll be re-reading this one every once in a way.
Aug 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great book for helping understand the basics of stats for people who hate math. HOWEVER- (and this is just a nitpick) nothing bores me more than sports. Wheelan gives many different type examples but sports makes logical sense for the average reader, so he continuously refers back to it. Otherwise, great intro book.
Oct 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Useful review of statistics with easy to understand examples
Phong Vu
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fun introductory book for statistics, which addresses several key concepts and usages of the subject. It doesn't dive deep into boring formulas, just introduces the intuitions and reasons why they matter.
Peter (Pete) Mcloughlin
Like the popular 1950s "How to lie with Statistics" the author explains the importance of statistics which come up in news polls to how Netflix decides what movies you will like to how a supermarket figures out what you will buy. By gaining a grip on statistics you can separate true claims from false. You can determine if that study which says bran muffins reduce your colon cancer risk is a good study or not and help with your breakfast choice or any other choice. The book is written in a simple ...more
Carlos Martinez
Feb 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: science
Some useful information in this, but not really the right level for my purposes, and the author's slight smugness and apparent centre-right political bias are annoying.

It does succeed in giving a coherent and comprehensible - even fun - overview of statistics. The light-hearted tone and bad jokes are irritating at times, but they contributed to the general vibe of it not being any other dry textbook. Some of the metaphors to understand concepts are great (eg explaining regression analysis in ter
Jim Goodrich
Jun 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a good overview of basic statistics told in an entertaining and sometimes funny way. We live in an age when huge data sets being collected all the time. With computers and statistics software it is possible to extract useful relationships and patterns from this data which would have been an impossible task 50 years ago. It is also possible to abuse, both intentionally and unintentionally, the results of statistical analysis. The strength of this book is not just the statistical methods ...more
Nurlan Imangaliyev
Apr 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Remember that Statistics course you hated at college? Well, this book might change your whole attitude towards this beautiful science. The pace and delivery is great, though at times even this book gets a bit too 'numbery'.
Mar 11, 2018 rated it liked it
i've gotta take statistics to get into social work grad school. it is really hard and uninspiring. so, i checked this book out of the library to help me get through it.
i appreciate that the author shares "what the hell is the POINT of all this" because that's one of the main things that's been making me feel nutty. he, unlike my teacher, does actually explain why this info is relevant. and i'll admit i laughed out loud at some parts (such as the image of bill gates walking into a bar with a tal
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Charles Wheelan is a senior lecturer and policy fellow at the Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth College. He joined the Dartmouth faculty fulltime in June of 2012.

Wheelan’s most recent book, Naked Statistics: Stripping the Dread from the Data, was released by W.W. Norton in January of 2013. Three weeks later, it reached the New York Times bestseller list for hardback nonfiction. The San Francisco Chr

Other books in the series

Naked (3 books)
  • Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science
  • Naked Money: What It Is and Why It Matters

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