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Topic: stats textbooks
Replies: 6   Last Post: Mar 11, 1996 1:39 PM

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Bob Hayden

Posts: 2,384
Registered: 12/6/04
stats textbooks
Posted: Feb 29, 1996 1:11 AM
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I think it is important to use a "post-Tukey" statistics textbook --
one that reflects the revolutionary changes in statistics associated
with the name of John Tukey. Since these changes took place in the
1960's, I could also say I think it is important to use a textbook
that is less than 30 years out of date.

I have been thinking about how a high school mathematics teacher who
might be teaching an Advanced Placement Statistics course might
identify such texts -- especially if that teacher does not have a lot
of prior training in post(or even pre!)-Tukey statistics.

I came up with a few such criteria and checked some textbooks against
them, with the results in the table below. Many people have said that
the three (or four) R's of modern statistics are

robustness and/or resistance
reexpression (or transformation)

so I simply counted the number of references in a book's index to
these topics. I did the same for "outliers", which are closely tied
to the first two R's. I decided "boxplots" was NOT a good thing to
check because they had been added "cosmetically" to a great many
books. By that I mean that they are explained once in a brief section
early in the book and never used for anything. The books that DO use
them do not put each use in the index. So, since the principal use of
boxplots is comparing several groups, I counted the number of sets of
parallel boxplots in each book's chapter on Analysis of Variance
rather thana the number of references in the index. (This also
indicates whether the book encourages the reader to LOOK AT THE DATA!)

Outliers Robust/Resist. Trans. Resids. Par.BP

M&M2 16 21 12 >19 4

BPS 24 6 2 13 6

S1 19 13 92 15 6

S2 13 6 18 7 11

J5 0 0 0 0 0

B&B5 2 1 0 2 0

The books are

M&M=Int. to the Practice of Stats. by Moore & McCabe
BPS=Basic Practice of Stats., by aforementioned Moore
S=Stats.&Data Analysis by Andrew Siegel
J=Elementary Statistics by Robert Johnson
B&B=Understandable Statistics by Brase & Brase

The first three books are on the recommended list for AP Stats. I
have taught statistics courses using every one of them. The other two
are books people enquired about on the AP Stats. email list.

This is just one "quick and dirty" rating system meant for rapid
screening. Other things to look at are the amount of real data in a
book and the extent to which the reader is taught how to check the
assumptions underlying the procedures.

| | Robert W. Hayden
| | Department of Mathematics
/ | Plymouth State College
| | Plymouth, New Hampshire 03264 USA
| * | Rural Route 1, Box 10
/ | Ashland, NH 03217-9702
| ) (603) 968-9914 (home)
fax (603) 535-2943 (work)

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