Introducing Statistics: A Graphic Guide (Introducing...) and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more


or
Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Colour:
Image not available

 
Start reading Introducing Statistics: A Graphic Guide (Introducing...) on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

Introducing Statistics: A Graphic Guide [Paperback]

Eileen Magnello , Borin Van Loon
2.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
RRP: 6.99
Price: 4.86 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
You Save: 2.13 (30%)
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Only 4 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Want it Tuesday, 15 July? Choose Express delivery at checkout. Details

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition 4.23  
Paperback 4.86  

Book Description

3 Sep 2009 Introducing...
From the medicine we take, the treatments we receive, the aptitude and psychometric tests given by employers, the cars we drive, the clothes we wear to even the beer we drink, statistics have given shape to the world we inhabit. For the media, statistics are routinely 'damning', 'horrifying', or, occasionally, 'encouraging'. Yet, for all their ubiquity, most of us really don't know what to make of statistics. Exploring the history, mathematics, philosophy and practical use of statistics, Eileen Magnello - accompanied by Bill Mayblin's intelligent graphic illustration - traces the rise of statistics from the ancient Babylonians, Egyptians and Chinese, to the censuses of Romans and the Greeks, and the modern emergence of the term itself in Europe. She explores the 'vital statistics' of, in particular, William Farr, and the mathematical statistics of Karl Pearson and R.A. Fisher.She even tells how knowledge of statistics can prolong one's life, as it did for evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould, given eight months to live after a cancer diagnoses in 1982 - and he lived until 2002. This title offers an enjoyable, surprise-filled tour through a subject that is both fascinating and crucial to understanding our world.

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Spend 30 and get Norton 360 21.0 - 3 Computers, 1 Year 2014 for 24.99. Here's how (terms and conditions apply)
  • Seasonal Offer:
    This title is part of our Seasonal Offers promotion.

Frequently Bought Together

Introducing Statistics: A Graphic Guide + Introducing Relativity: A Graphic Guide
Buy the selected items together


Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Icon Books Ltd (3 Sep 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848310560
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848310568
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 11.7 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 414,736 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

About the Author

Eileen Magnello trained and worked as a statistician before doing her doctorate in the history of science at St Antony's College, Oxford. She has published extensively on the life and statistical innovations of the Victorian statistician Karl Pearson and is a Research Associate at University College London. Bill Mayblinhas illustrated a number of Introducing titles including Derrida and Logic.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Customer Reviews

5 star
0
4 star
0
2 star
0
2.3 out of 5 stars
2.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Beware! 28 Dec 2010
Format:Paperback
Not everything in this book is bad: the historical information is very interesting. (The author has a PhD in the history of science.)

Unfortunately, however, the book is riddled with blunders and misconceptions, obfuscations and inaccuracies.

Consider just one topic: the standard deviation -- pretty important when it comes to understanding statistics.

We are told that the standard deviation 'indicates how widely or closely spread the values are in a set of a data' (fine so far, apart from the typo of an extra 'a'), and then that it 'shows how far each of these individual values deviate from the average'. No: as a single summary figure, the standard deviation cannot possibly give information on 'each of these individual values'. (That is not its purpose, of course; indeed it almost the exact opposite of its purpose.)

The accompanying graphic carries the information that the 'standard deviation ... corresponds to the moment of inertia ... of dynamics'. No: it corresponds to the radius of gyration. And we are told that the moment of inertia is 'a geometrical property of a beam, and a measure of the beam's ability to resist buckling or bending'. Oh dear! Clearly the author's grasp of mechanics is no better than her grasp of statistics.

The formula for the standard deviation is then given -- but it is typeset incorrectly!

Next, the standard deviation for a set of data (with mean 8) is calculated (correctly!) as 2.82. The accompanying comment is 'This means that the average amount of deviation in this set of data is 2.82 units away from the mean value of 8 and that, therefore, there is a small amount of variation in this sample'. There appears to be no explanation of the criterion by which the variation is deemed large or small.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
Format:Paperback
I really like the idea behind this series of books, I've read maybe half a dozen of them now and haven't had any complaints. However, having just read one of the reviews of this book which points out some technical problems with the content, I'm starting to have my doubts about them.

I read these books purely as an interested amateur. I like the easy-reading style which allows me to dip in and out whenever I don't feel like reading something 'heavy', yet I still feel like I'm learning something useful.

Unfortunately, some of the things you will learn when reading this book are simply wrong. The examples pointed out previously concerned standard deviation and coefficient of variation - the formulae and examples given are correct, but some of the reasoning about when they are appropriate and what they mean is incorrect.

This is a problem for me, because I think it is those aspects of statistics - what the standard deviation actually 'means' - which this sort of book should be most useful for. The calculations and formulae can be found in standard textbooks if you need them, but I want the ideas placed in some kind of context first before I dive in to the nitty gritty.

In one sense, the book succeeds - the history of the people and their ideas is (as far as I know) accurate and interesting. In another sense, the book is a failure - it misleads the unwary (i.e. me) into false understandings of important concepts.

Read it for the history of statistics, but you might want to double check anything else.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars disappointed 8 Dec 2010
Format:Paperback
I bought this as a potential present for a teenage nephew. However, as a statistician I of course read it first to make sure it wouldn't mislead him. It is good on history, but there are errors in the statistical content, and the language is a bit hard for a teenager in places, so I won't be passing it on.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 2.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Avoid this book! 14 Dec 2011
By Eldon Nash - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Not everything in this book is bad: the historical information is very interesting. (The author has a PhD in the history of science.)

Unfortunately, however, the book is riddled with blunders and misconceptions, obfuscations and inaccuracies.

Consider just one topic: the standard deviation -- pretty important when it comes to understanding statistics.

We are told that the standard deviation 'indicates how widely or closely spread the values are in a set of a data' (fine so far, apart from the typo of an extra 'a'), and then that it 'shows how far each of these individual values deviate from the average'. No: as a single summary figure, the standard deviation cannot possibly give information on 'each of these individual values'. (That is not its purpose, of course; indeed it almost the exact opposite of its purpose.)

The accompanying graphic carries the information that the 'standard deviation ... corresponds to the moment of inertia ... of dynamics'. No: it corresponds to the radius of gyration. And we are told that the moment of inertia is 'a geometrical property of a beam, and a measure of the beam's ability to resist buckling or bending'. Oh dear! Clearly the author's grasp of mechanics is no better than her grasp of statistics.

The formula for the standard deviation is then given -- but it is typeset incorrectly!

Next, the standard deviation for a set of data (with mean 8) is calculated (correctly!) as 2.82. The accompanying comment is 'This means that the average amount of deviation in this set of data is 2.82 units away from the mean value of 8 and that, therefore, there is a small amount of variation in this sample'. There appears to be no explanation of the criterion by which the variation is deemed large or small. Certainly it is not a criterion known to this statistician.

Finally, we have 'Although the standard deviation indicates to what extent the whole group deviates from the mean, it does not show how variable a particular group is.' I have read that over and over again and I am at a loss to know what it is trying to say.

I wish I could say that the other statistical concepts in the book fared better than the standard deviation -- but they don't. I can't resist mentioning the coefficient of variation which is said to be useful in comparing the variability of temperatures in two cities, one set of measurements being in in degrees Celsius and the other in Fahrenheit. This, of course, is a perfect example of when it would *not* be appropriate to use the coefficient of variation -- because the mean could be zero and the coefficient of variation would then be infinite.

If you understand anything about statistics this book will infuriate you; if you don't understand much about statistics the book will hinder not help.

Avoid!
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Strongly Disagree With the Previous Reviewers 20 Feb 2013
By Jabra Ghneim - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is exactly what it says it is, an introduction to statistics. It is meant to attract people to the field rather than drive them away. It is a great review of the history, philosophy, and purpose of statistics, the development of the various statistical concepts and how they relate to real-life problems. I loved the historical parts dealing with the women and men behind the science Given how pervasive and ubiquitous statistics have become in fields of study, work and even play, this book should be a required reading to any novice statistician or anyone whose life and/or work are touched by this very important field. A next great stop would be a book called "The Lady Tasting Tea" by David Salsburg and "The Unfinished Game" by Devlin. If you want to read more I recommend "The Theory that Wouldn't Die" by McGrayne.
4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not a great introduction to statistics, drawings distract from content 23 April 2011
By Russell S - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
[...]

While I visited family in Louisville last week, I browsed through Carmichael's bookstore, of the last independent book sellers in the city. I ran into a section of books called "Introducing .... A Graphic Guide." The titles ranged from Introducing Freud: A Graphic Guide to Introducing Buddha: A Graphic Guide. The one on statistics caught my eye, so I bought it and read it over the next couple days.

Unfortunately, the book disappointed, in two major ways. First, it discussed the history of statistics far more than offering an introduction. Every two pages, it seemed, the authors introduced a new figure in the development of statistics. While that history provided some useful color, it also meant that more topics were covered, and in a superficial way, than I expected in an introductory book. Indeed, the book ran through: variation, the name `statistics,' vital vs. mathematical statistics, demography, polar area graphs, Florence Nightingale's role in developing statistics, probability, relative frequency, Poisson Distribution, the Gaussian Curve and the Principle of Least Squares, samples vs. populations, methods of moments, Galton's Dilemma, the tau coefficient, and about 20 other concepts. As new ideas came thick and fast as the pages turned, I found my eyes glazing over, and my mind unable to keep up with the quick explanations of dozens of concepts.

In addition, the book attracted me as a `graphic guide.' While it does contain a few helpful graphics, by and large, the graphics distracted from the material. Bobble-heads, odd designs and fonts, and vaguely relevant drawings dominated the pages. As I read, I kept coming back to Edward Tufte's admonition that design follows content. This book included pictures for pictures' sake, and large ones. The writings on the page were frequently broken up by the drawings, meaning my eyes had to scurry around looking for where to pick up the thread. As intellectually interesting as it is to see what Adolphe Quetelet looked like, I don't need to see his mug on a quarter of the page. In short, the drawings significantly distracted from the effectiveness of the book as a resource and learning tool.

The book, upon first glance, had much promise. Indeed, I had already begun to look forward to reading other volumes in the series -- Stephen Hawking, Islam, Capitalism and Logic especially attracted my eye. But after my experience with this volume, I'll look for better introductions to those topics.
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions
   


Look for similar items by category


Feedback