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Naked Statistics: Stripping the Dread from the Data [Hardcover]

Charles Wheelan
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
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Book Description

5 Feb 2013
The field of statistics is rapidly transforming into a discipline that Hal Varian at Google has called "sexy". And with good reason - from batting averages and political polls to game shows and medical research - the real-world application of statistics is growing by leaps and bounds. In Naked Statistics, Charles Wheelan strips away the arcane and technical details to get at the underlying intuition that is key to understanding the power of statistical concepts. Tackling a wide-ranging set of problems, he demonstrates how statistics can be used to look at questions that are important and relevant to us today. With the trademark wit, accessibility and fun that made Naked Economics a bestseller, Wheelan brings another essential discipline to life with a one-in-a-million statistics book that you will read for pleasure.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 302 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (5 Feb 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393071952
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393071955
  • Product Dimensions: 23.9 x 16.3 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 198,119 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Two phrases you don't often see together: 'statistics primer' and 'rollicking good time.' Until Charlie Wheelan got to it, that is. This book explains the way statistical ideas can help you understand much of everyday life. --Austan Goolsbee, professor of economics at the University of Chicago and former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers

Charles Wheelan, a professor at Dartmouth College (and a former Chicago correspondent for The Economist), does something unique here: he makes statistics interesting and fun. His book strips the subject of its complexity to expose the sexy stuff underneath. --The Economist

About the Author

Charles Wheelan teaches at Dartmouth College and is the author of the internationally best-selling Naked Economics (ISBN 978 0 393 33764 8).

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable stats primer/refresher 16 Nov 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Naked Statistics is a good way to remind yourself what statistics is about, or if new to the subject, get a solid grasp of the basics. It is a fine complement to a dry textbook, in that it covers the groundwork in a clear, approachable and entertaining way that is not overly mathematically demanding. Appendices delve deeper into theory and can be read or ignored as the reader wishes.

The first two thirds of the book is particularly good, breezing competently through key statistical concepts up to and including the Central Limit Theorem.

Many people may be drawn to the book because of the growing importance of 'big data'. Wheelan takes this topic on board with a focus on regression analysis, and is not afraid to discuss the pitfalls as well as the benefits of the more abstract 'darker' arts of statistics. However, given the choice between a candid acknowledgements of the fundamental limitations of statistics and an uncomplicated view that 'as long as its done well all will be fine', Wheelan goes in the simpler, more positive direction, even when cheerfully supporting claims that over half of the top-flight peer reviewed scientific papers that draw conclusions from the techniques he proposes are likely to be wrong.

Instead, Wheelan argues that brilliant statistical research simply requires brilliant researchers (guess who?) - and that brilliance is not about being good at the maths, but about a having a creative and intuitive grasp of what works. There are two problems with this. One is that observant readers may well spot flaws in the exemplars Wheelan presents as brilliant.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Statistics in a nutshell 18 July 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I've read this book with the intention of refreshing my memory on statistics. What I found was a refreshing book, easy to read and follow, with some compelling examples to keep you hooked to the book. The book addressed some of the most important concepts of statistics, giving you some insight on the reasoning behind them. In conclusion, I would recommend to anyone who wants explore on the surface the field of statistics, or anyone even considering pursuing this field. For the latter case, this can be considered a motivational book for statistics.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Nice read too. No maths - just clear explanations and some humour. Makes understanding stats quite simple for the non statistician.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Naked statistics: stripping the dread from the 18 Aug 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
An interesting book, which has some very good examples on how statistics can be used to answer important questions. More importantly it provides examples on the misuse of statistics and in an age when data is easy to collect and analyse these examples serve as a word of warning to all to be sceptical of what they read.
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This book is very well written and the example are both interesting and relevant, I think this book has value for both people who don't know much about stats but also those with an understanding wishing to get a more intuitive approach to the topic.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very readable book 21 Feb 2014
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Easy reading, concise and thoroughly entertaining; the author is great at explaining what appear to be mundane concepts. We'll recommended
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5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended it 15 Dec 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I've started reading it and found some quite down to earth information. The main thing important for me is that the author emphasizes on as many and as funny possible examples (some taken from US recent history). Even more important in my opinion is that he tries to present a MEANING of all this statistic jargon going toward the basic question, OK WHAT IS THE POINT OF ALL THESE?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great text 5 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Brilliantly written and easy to read book which explains the simple concepts of stats. Very nice change to reading textbooks - I would recommend!
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