What does Statistics for the Terrified cover?

Statistics for the Terrified covers all the techniques required by undergraduate students and many researchers in a user-friendly, commonsense, non-mathematical and highly interactive way.

Each chapter of the tutorial begins with an outline of its aims and objectives, and finishes with a summary of the key points covered. Click on the links below for screenshots.

Before you begin

  • The trouble with Statistics
  • How this tutorial will help you
  • What is Statistics?
  • The art of detective work


  • Aims and objectives
  • Probability
  • Probability notation
  • Getting a feel for conditional probability – Screenshot
  • Joanna Watson: a conditional probability scenario
  • Conditional probability as areas
  • Conditional probability: the calculations
  • Conditional probability
  • Bayes theorem helps untangle confused logic
  • Summary

Basic numerical data description

  • Aims and objectives
  • Data types
  • Average values – the mean, median introduced – Screenshot
  • The effect of outliers on the mean and median
  • The advantages and disadvantages of the mean and median
  • Range and variance
  • Variance and Standard deviation
  • What is the coefficient of variation?
  • Summary

Graphical data description

  • Aims and objectives
  • Frequency charts and histograms – Screenshot
  • Histograms and distributions
  • Introducing the normal curve
  • The normal curve shows relative likelihood – Screenshot
  • How sd affects normal curve shape
  • Normal distribution and calculating probabilities: datagame – Screenshot
  • Dealing with data that isn’t normally distributed
  • Summary

Standard error and confidence intervals

  • Aims and objectives
  • Introduction to standard error
  • Standard error measures the accuracy of estimates – Screenshot
  • Standard error decreases as standard deviation increases
  • Accuracy increases as standard error decreases
  • How this looks with normal curves
  • How to calculate standard error in theory
  • How to calculate standard error in practice
  • Isn’t it cheating to use estimates in the calculation?
  • Standard error and standard deviation are not the same! Recap
  • Confidence intervals are based on standard error
  • A 95% CI contains the population mean 95% of the time – Screenshot
  • Summary

What does p<0.05 really mean?

  • Aims and objectives – Screenshot
  • What is hypothesis testing?
  • Posing the hypothesis
  • Introducing the null hypothesis
  • Random sampling
  • What do you take into account? – Screenshot
  • The steps involved in hypothesis testing
  • The relationship between the test statistic and p values
  • The story so far…
  • How difficult is it to reject the null hypothesis?
  • The relationship between power and type II errors
  • Power worsens as the alternative gets closer
  • Making significance tests more powerful
  • Summary

How to choose a test

  • Aims and objectives
  • The essentials
  • For simple but essential concepts
  • For simple but essential concepts
  • Data patterns – Screenshot
  • Appropriate tests
  • Questions to ask – Screenshot
  • The test quiz
  • Summary

Testing for differences between groups

  • Aims and objectives
  • Overview – tests for differences between group means – Screenshot
  • Two-sample t test overview
  • Two-sample t test exploration
  • Two-sample t test datagame
  • Analysis of variance (ANOVA) overview
  • Oneway ANOVA: exploration and datagame – Screenshot
  • What is twoway analysis of variance?
  • Twoway ANOVA: interpretation and datagame
  • Non-parametric methods: ranking
  • Mann-Whitney test – datagame and explore
  • Kruskal-Wallis test – datagame and explore
  • Summary

Analysing repeated measures

  • Aims and objectives
  • What are repeated measures?
  • Collapse the data
  • Before/after tests – Screenshot
  • The paired t test
  • The paired t test datagame – Screenshot
  • Wilcoxon signed rank test overview
  • Wilcoxon signed rank test datagame
  • Why area under a curve?
  • Datagame the areas
  • Dealing with repeated measures: Recap
  • Data patterns
  • Tripping over the truth
  • Time series: smoothing – moving averages
  • Time series: exponential smoothing
  • Summary

Analysing 2×2 classification tables

  • Aims and objectives
  • What are classification tables?
  • Overview of the use and meaning of classification tables
  • Calculating risk is straightforward
  • Absolute risk and relative risk
  • Testing: introducing the chi-square statistic
  • Interpretation of discrepancies and relative risk – Screenshot
  • The chi-square test, sample size and Fisher’s exact test
  • The chi-square test datagame
  • Summary – Screenshot

Fitting lines to data

  • Aims and objectives
  • The basics of regression: correlation
  • The basics of regression: what is it good for?
  • The basics of regression: describing the line
  • Exploring linear regression
  • Regression: datagame – Screenshot
  • The pulling power of outliers
  • Regression parameters and their standard errors
  • Hypothesis testing a linefit
  • Hypothesis testing challenges
  • Summary

Uncovering hidden influences

  • Aims and objectives
  • A little knowledge is a dangerous thing 1 – Screenshot
  • A little knowledge is a dangerous thing 2
  • Analysis of covariance: uncovering influence by linefitting 1
  • Analysis of covariance: uncovering influence by linefitting 2
  • Twoway analysis of variance: reducing bias and variance 1
  • Twoway analysis of variance: reducing bias and variance 2
  • Twoway analysis of variance: reducing bias and variance 3
  • Matching and the removal of bias
  • Summary
Concept Stew Services
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"I have found Statistics for the Terrified to be a valuable tool in helping students to grasp some core concepts in statistical testing such as the standard error, confidence intervals and hypothesis testing. I have found the interactive multi-media element of Statistics for the Terrified to be particularly powerful in this regard."

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"Congratulations for this fantastic piece of software. Certainly your software does fulfill my needs, and it also proves useful when it comes to just refresh a specific topic. One could consider it as well as an “ongoing refresher course”, very handy not only for beginners in statistics. Let me know if and when new versions are out. And BTW, it works perfectly under Windows 7 Ultimate."

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