Mesa Community College

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About This Web Book

This web-book has been designed to simplify introductory statistics concepts and provide for a more interactive learning experience via simulations, applets, videos, etc. Additionally, you won't have to spend $150+ on a hard copy.

Each of the modules corresponds with a particular unit in the class and particular chapters that will be covered for that module's test.

IMPORTANT: To access the modules at the top of the page, you need to have an active MCC email account. Your username and password for your email account will also provide you with access to your web-book readings.

The Challenge Of Statistics: Your Invitation To Jump Out Of The Bowl

Man in bowlThe fish is the last one to know that it's wet. This Chinese saying is particularly insightful when one considers the way that we usually make judgments/decisions and the way that we probably should make judgments/decisions. In this class, you will have the opportunity to think in ways that are unfamiliar and uncomfortable--about numbers and what they can mean. In the process, you might just realize that there is a very different way to think about the world around you. You may even conclude that your thinking before was all wet! :-)

One of the challenges of life is to get beyond our assumptions and prejudices so that we can ask important questions about human behavior. To livemove toward a more objective view of human beings and ourselves, we have to leave our egos at the door and do our best to answer the fundamental question that we should always be asking about the world around us...HOW DO YOU KNOW? In other words, What evidence do you have to support our conclusions? Is this evidence good evidence? Is it valid and reliable? Do we need more evidence?

Most people, myself included, spend their lives making decisions in very subjective, non-scientific ways. Hey, I get that. Life's busy. Is there an iPhone app that can deliver small doses of Xanax at regular intervals throughout the day? Who has time to put together an experiment and then stand back and assess the methodological rigor of one's daily decision making? I certainly don't.

But there are times and places where nothing less is acceptable. How do you know that this drug therapy works better than that one? That the government's No Child Left Behind Act has worked? How do you know that blueberries strengthen cognitive functions like memory? How do you know that global warming is a reality?

And once we've answered the "How do you know" question, we answer the very important question...SO WHAT? More on that later.

As we answer these and other questions, we will analyze the very essence of mathematical judgment and decision making. This is an opportunity for you to grow and see yourself and the world around you with fresh eyes.

Acknowledgements & References

Tutorials and many of the graphics contained in this web book are original creations by Derek Borman. Most of the other images fall under Creative Commons licensing or were purchased from royalty-free websites. Most of the writing (about 75%) in this web book is original work by Derek Borman. The works of others were integrated, however. Instead of referencing every individual paragraph, sentence or word liberated from others' works, I'll just list those sources here.

Online Statistics Education: A Multimedia Course of Study ( Project Leader: David M. Lane, Rice University 

Thorne, M.B. and Giesen, J.M. (2002). Statistics For The Behavioral Science (4th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.

Kranzler, John. (2010) Statistics For The Terrified (5th ed.). New York: Pearson Publishing.

LAST UPDATED: 2013-10-02 12:49 PM



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