Head First Statistics

Head First Statistics

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Wouldn't it be great if there were a statistics book that made histograms, probability distributions, and chi square analysis more enjoyable than going to the dentist? Head First Statistics brings this typically dry subject to life, teaching you all the fundamentals of the discipline using engaging, interactive, real-world scenarios, ranging from analyzing sports stats to casino gambling to prescription drug testing.

Whether you're taking Stats 101, preparing for the AP Statistics exam, or just curious about statistical analysis, Head First's brain-friendly formula will help you not only master statistics, but show you how you can apply statistical principles in everyday life.

Table of Contents

1. Visualizing Information: Get the Picture
2. Measuring Central Tendency: The Middle Way
3. Measuring Spread: Power Ranges
4. Calculating Probabilities: Taking Chances
5. Discrete Probability Distributions: Manage Your Expectations
6. Permutations and Combinations: Making Arrangements
7. Geometric, Binomial, and Poisson Distributions: Keeping Things Discrete
8a. Normal Distribution: Being Normal
9. Normal Distribution Part II: Beyond Normal
10. Using Statistical Sampling: Taking Samples
11. Estimating Your Population: Making Predictions
12. Constructing Confidence Intervals: Guessing with Confidence
13. Correlation and Regression: What's My Line?
14. Using Hypothesis Tests: Look at the Evidence
15. The Chi Square Distribution: There's Something Going on
i. Appendix i: Top Ten Things We Didn't Cover
ii. Appendix ii: Statistics Tables

A collection of images from inside the book.

Read Me:
What you should know before reading this book

This is a learning experience, not a reference book. We deliberately stripped out everything that might get in the way of learning whatever it is we're working on at that point in the book. And the first time through, you need to begin at the beginning, because the book makes assumptions about what you've already seen and learned.

We begin by teaching basic ways of representing and summarizing data, then move on to probability distributions, and then more advanced techniques such as hypothesis testing.

While later topics are important, the first thing you need to tackle is fundamental building blocks such as charting, averages, and measures of variability. So we begin by showing you basic statistical problems that you actually solve yourself. That way you can immediately do something with statistics, and you will begin to get excited about it. Then, a bit later in the book, we show you how to use probability and probability distributions. By then you'll have a solid grasp of statistics fundamentals, and can focus on learning the concepts. After that, we show you how to apply your knowledge in more powerful ways, such as how to conduct hypothesis tests. We teach you what you need to know at the point you need to know it because that's when it has the most value.

We cover the same general set of topics that are on the AP and A Level curriculum.

While we focus on the overall learning experience rather than exam preparation, we provide good coverage of the AP and A Level curriculum. This means that while you work your way through the topics, you'll gain the deep understanding you need to get a good grade in whatever exam it is you're taking. This is a far more effective way of learning statistics than learning formulae by rote, as you'll feel confident about what you need when, and how to use it.

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Advance Reviews

"Dawn Griffiths has split some very complicated concepts into much smaller, less frightening, bits of stuff that real-life people will find very easy to digest. Lots of graphics and photos make the material very approachable and I have developed quite a crush on the attractive lady model who is asking about gumballs on page 458."
—Bruce Frey, Author of Statistics Hacks

"Head First Statistics is by far the most entertaining, attention-catching study guide on the market. By presenting the material in an engaging manner it provides students with a comfortable way to learn an otherwise cumbersome subject. The explanation of the topics is presented in a manner comprehensible to students of all levels."
—Ariana Anderson, PhD candidate in statistics, UCLA

"Head First is an intuitive way to understand statistics using simple, real-life examples that make learning fun and natural."
—Michael Prerau, computational neuroscientist and statistics instructor, Boston University

"Thought Head First was just for computer nerds? Try the brain-friendly way with statistics and you'll change your mind. It really works."
—Andy Parker

"This book is a great way for students to learn statistics—it is entertaining, comprehensive, and easy to understand. A perfect solution!"
—Danielle Levitt

"Down with dull statistics books! Even my cat liked this one."
—Cary Collett
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Who is this book for?

If you can answer "yes" to all of these:

  • Do you need to understand statistics for a course, for your line of work, or just because you think it's about time you learned what standard deviation means or how to find the probability of winning at roulette?

  • Do you want to learn, understand, and remember how to use probability and statistics to get the right results, every time?
  • Do you prefer stimulating dinner party conversation to dry, dull, academic lectures?

You should probably back away from this book if you can answer "yes" to any of these:

  • Are you someone who's never studied basic algebra? (You don't need to be advanced, but you should understand basic addition and subtraction, multiplication and division.)
  • Are you a kick-butt statistician looking for a reference book?
  • Are you afraid to try something different? Would you rather have a root canal than mix stripes with plaid? Do you believe that a technical book can't be serious if Venn diagrams are anthropomorphized?