Saturday, December 26, 2009

My Statistics Primer Revisited

Both this and my gender gap series are available on my homepage (check the top of this blog), but they were lots of work and might as well be made to dance here again.

This series grew from the idea of trying to explain political polling, but it's also an introduction to statistics in general. It is NOT a substitute for a course in statistics.

Statistics Primer:

Part 1. Samples

Part 2. Probability

Part 3. Sample Statistics

Part 4. Sampling Distributions

Part 5. Constructing a Confidence Interval For The Sample Proportion

Part 6. Wrapping Up

I also wrote this warning earlier:

I stayed up a few nights trying to think of a way to give the gist of the statistics used in surveys without lying or doing violence to the theories. I didn't end up with any very brilliant ways of doing that. Not very surprising, of course, but then I always try to reinvent the wheel.

Those of you, my dear readers, who are statistics geeks can see where I skate on a fairly thin eye and get off just before the ice cracks. But I think I avoided any outrageous lies. I hope I avoided them.

The problem is in approaching the whole field as someone who hates statistics might do. Statistics is actually not difficult, but it can be tedious, and that turns a lot of people off. So I tried not to be tedious but that came at a cost of being a bit eellike. If you want a slower pace and firmer instruction, try one of the online statistics courses.

Posted earlier.