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Statistics As Principled Argument
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Statistics As Principled Argument

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  72 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
In this illuminating volume, Robert P. Abelson delves into the too-often dismissed problems of interpreting quantitative data and then presenting them in the context of a coherent story about one's research. Unlike too many books on statistics, this is a remarkably engaging read, filled with fascinating real-life (and real-research) examples rather than with recipes for an ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published February 1st 1995 by Psychology Press
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Feb 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As the title suggests, the focus here is on statistics -- but it is more broadly about how one formulates useful questions about the world and uses evidence (statistical or otherwise) to answer those questions.

In many ways, I think this deserves five stars: it puts forth a lot of useful ideas, especially by formulating guidelines for problems that can be amorphous and hard to approach objectively (what makes a hypothesis or result "interesting"? what should we look for to see if data is suspici
Daniel Christensen
The basic idea, that statistics is an argument, where you need to logically make your case and defend it, is excellent.

I agree 100%, and I think statistics needs to be taught in the context of scientific process and epistemology.

Ableson is entertaining enough, and his guidelines (Magnitude, Articulation, Generalisation, Interest, and Credibility of argument), plus his 8 laws are excellent (esp. '1. Chance is Lumpy').

Somehow, the execution didn't do it for me, but I can't put my finger on what
Jan 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ub
Excellent book, on how statistics can and should be used to make a convincing argument. A persuasive (statistical) argument has MAGIC; Magnitude, Articulation, Generality, Interestingness, Credibility.

The book does not explain different statistical techniques, but does gives very practical advice on how to use the outcomes and what possibilities are to generate convincing underpinning of the argument.

Very rich book, definitely worth the effort to absorb all the ideas, examples and wise suggestio
Kenny Oyama
Dec 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
If you're used to relegating statistics to only the results section in your manuscript, you need to read this book. Statistics are only effectively used when in (proper) context, which means that they must be integrated into the greater voice of your research. Being able to do so not only makes your papers more easy to read, but it even helps you understand the importance of the methods and statistical tools you use to explore your data.
Sep 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: students of statistics
I bought this as one of the required texts in my intermediate stats/data analysis course. It addresses statistics in a clear articulate manner from the point of view of the philosophy of statistics. Refreshing after all those dry, equation-based textbooks! Highly recommended for those who are seeking to understand the underpinning of statistics (otherwise, you probably don't need to read it).
Jul 08, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Statisticians
Do you love statistics?

Are you insane?

If you do, and you aren't you will love this book. It's a rationalist look at the common uses (and misuses) of the art of statistics, in the realm of advanced application (i.e. not percentages, etc.)

If you are insane, look at that behind you!!!
Eldan Goldenberg
Mar 13, 2012 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wishlist
Was strongly recommended by a friend: http://bps-occupational-digest.blogsp...
Peter Flom
Sep 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: statistics
This is a great second book for anyone studying statistics. My full review:
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