﻿ Understanding Statistics

Graziano & Raulin
Research Methods (8th edition)

## Understanding Statistics

Mark Twain once said, "There are lies, damn lies, and statistics." The implication is that there is a continuum from the truth through lies to extreme lies, with statistics even more extreme on this continuum.

We would be lying if we said that selective use of statistics has never been used by unscrupulous people to mislead. But the more you know about statistics, the less likely it is that you can be misled by either the deliberately unscrupulous or the naively ill informed. That's right, statistics can be as misleading in the hands of someone with a limited understanding of statistics as in the hands of a true psychopath trying to sell you a building lot in the middle of a swamp.

This first section introduces the concept of statistics and some of the basic procedures for collecting and organizing data. It also introduces some of the basic notation that are used to specify statistical formulas. You can use to Table of Contents for this section to go directly to these major topics or click on the Next Page button to move to the next page of this section.

 Nature of Statistics Organizing and Graphing Data Basics of Statistical Notation