What is a p-value anyway? 34 Stories to Help You Actually Understand Statistics

  • ISBN13:


  • ISBN10:


  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-11-18
  • Publisher: Pearson

Note: Supplemental materials are not guaranteed with Rental or Used book purchases.

Purchase Benefits

  • Free Shipping On Orders Over $35!
    Your order must be $35 or more to qualify for free economy shipping. Bulk sales, PO's, Marketplace items, eBooks and apparel do not qualify for this offer.
  • Get Rewarded for Ordering Your Textbooks! Enroll Now
  • We Buy This Book Back!
    In-Store Credit: $5.25
    Check/Direct Deposit: $5.00
List Price: $44.80 Save up to $20.16
  • Rent Book $24.64
    Add to Cart Free Shipping


Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.
  • The Rental copy of this book is not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.


What is a p-value Anyway? offers a fun introduction to the fundamental principles of statistics, presenting the essential concepts in thirty-four brief, enjoyable stories. Drawing on his experience as a medical researcher, Vickers blends insightful explanations and humor, with minimal math, to help readers understand and interpret the statistics they read every day.

What is a p-value Anyway? is the perfect complement to any introductory statistics textbook and will succeed in demonstrating the everyday importance of statistics to your class. When I started writing this book, I wondered whether I could write something about statistics that was fun, at least in places.

This is how I came up with the idea of stories; you hear a story to help you understand something and you'll remember it for life. Hopefully, after you have read this textbook, you'll have a good understanding of many of the key ideas of statistics. You'll also be able to avoid making some of the most common statistical mistakes and errors.

Describing data; Data distributions; Variation of study results: confidence intervals; Hypothesis testing; Regression and decision making; Some common statistical errors, and what they teach us

For all readers interested in statistics.

Author Biography

Andrew Vickers, PhD, is an Associate Attending Research Methodologist in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. He is active in a variety of fields of cancer research, and also conducts original research in statistical methods, particularly with respect to the evaluation of prediction models. Dr. Vickers has been course leader for the biostatistics course at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center since 2001, and has taught biostatistics to medical students at Cornell Medical School since 2000. Dr. Vickers received a First Class BA in History and Philosophy of Science from the University of Cambridge and a PhD in Clinical Medicine from the University of Oxford.

Table of Contents

How to Read this Bookp. ix
I tell a friend that my job is more fun than you'd think: What is statistics?p. 1
Describing Data
So Bill Gates walks into a diner: On means and mediansp. 4
Bill Gates goes back to the diner: Standard deviation and interquartile rangep. 7
A skewed shot, a biased refereep. 12
You can't have 2.6 children: On different types of datap. 16
Why your high school math teacher was right: How to draw a graphp. 21
Data Distributions
Chutes-and-ladders and serum hemoglobin levels: Thoughts on the normal distributionp. 26
If the normal distribution is so normal, how come my dat'a never are?p. 32
But I like that sweater: What amount of fit is a "good enough" fit?p. 37
Variation of Study Results: Confidence Intervals
Long hair: A standard error of the older malep. 41
How to avoid a rainy wedding: Variation and confidence intervalsp. 46
Statistical ties, and why you shouldn't wear one: More on confidence intervalsp. 50
Hypothesis Testing
Choosing a route to cycle home: What p-values do for usp. 54
The probability of a dry toothbrush: What is a p-value anyway?p. 57
Michael Jordan won't accept the null hypothesis: How to interpret high p-valuesp. 61
The difference between sports and business: Thoughts on the t test and the Wilcoxon testp. 64
Meeting up with friends: On sample size, precision and statistical powerp. 70
Regression and Decision Making
When to visit Chicago: About linear and logistic regressionp. 77
My assistant turns up for work with shorter hair: About regression and confoundingp. 84
I ignore my child's cough, my wife panics: About specificity and sensitivityp. 90
Avoid the sales: Statistics to help make decisionsp. 95
Some Common Statistical Errors, and What They Teach Us
One better than Tommy John: Four statistical errors, some of which are totally trivial, but all of which matter a great dealp. 99
Weed control for p-values: A single scientific question should be addressed by a single statistical testp. 102
How to shoot a TV episode: Statistical analyses that don't provide meaningful numbersp. 105
Sam, 93 years old, 700 pound Florida super-granddad: Two common errors in regressionp. 110
Regression to the Mike: A statistical explanation of why an eligible friend of mine is still singlep. 116
OJ Simpson, Sally Clark, George and me: About conditional probabilityp. 119
Boy meets girl, girl rejects boy, boy starts multiple testingp. 124
Some things that have never happened to me: Why you shouldn't compare p-valuesp. 130
How to win the marathon: Avoiding errors when measuring things that happen over timep. 133
The difference between bad statistics and a bacon sandwich: Are there "rules" in statistics?p. 139
Look at your garbage bin: It may be the only thing you need to know about statisticsp. 142
Numbers that mean something: Linking math and sciencep. 147
Statistics is about people, even if you can't see the tearsp. 151
Discussion Section Answersp. 154
Credits and Referencesp. 209
Indexp. 211
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

Rewards Program

Customer Reviews

A great read April 6, 2011
What a read! And yes, I am talking about this statistics textbook. I have read several throughout many stages of statistical training, and this is the first time that I have laughed out loud in amusement while learning statistics at the same time. People around me were asking-what's so funny? My answer was simply-my statistics textbook.
This book is a must read for statistics student or teachers at any level and speaks directly to the "I just don't' get it" thought that so many of have experienced. After reading this book-you will get it. In a casual and easy to read manner, Vickers reviews statistical concepts and ideas that have puzzled students for years and explains them in a way that is easy to grasp.
Flag Review
Please provide a brief explanation for why you are flagging this review:
Your submission has been received. We will inspect this review as soon as possible. Thank you for your input!
What is a p-value anyway? 34 Stories to Help You Actually Understand Statistics: 5 out of 5 stars based on 1 user reviews.

Write a Review