Statistics: Something for Everybody

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Abstract

Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1979, Vol 24(1), 36–37. Reviews the book, How To Use (and Misuse) Statistics by Gregory A. Kimble (1978). Without condescension, the book covers, in a nonmathematical fashion, the basic thought processes involved in statistical analysis. The author argues cogently that statisticians think in ways that are useful in coping with the uncertainties of the workaday world. In keeping with this theme, Kimble draws engaging examples from a broad spectrum of life experiences. There is something for everybody in this little volume. The historian will surely be fascinated by the section on hypothesis testing with frequency distributions. Unaccountably, however, Kimble goes to some pains to argue that intensity of light is the dependent variable in a dark adaptation study. More seriously, he perpetuates an error found in some elementary texts, namely that the standard deviation based on the unbiased estimate of the population variance is itself an unbiased estimator of the population standard deviation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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