What is Statistics for the Terrified?

Statistics for the Terrified is a common-sense basic guide to statistics, written in plain english with a minimum of mathematics (very little!). It makes statistics open to common sense.

Most people simply want to be able to apply statistics in their chosen field. By approaching Statistics as a tool to be used rather than an academic discipline, a non-mathematical student can gain a higher degree of understanding without oversimplification. Repeated, varied and directed exploration assists learning in this tutorial by treating statistics as a series of puzzles or data games with particular rules.

It works by presenting the concepts in straightforward language and animation (rather than mathematical examples), and then giving the students a series of challenges which they work through using dynamic graphs to see how the data and the resulting statistics relate to one another. The mechanics of statistics become clear and a genuine intuitive understanding is gained.

For the less terrified, statistical formulae and calculations are available but never allowed to overpower the simple concepts which govern statistics, or what any particular statistical test or technique is doing.

Statistics for the Terrified provides a good thorough grounding in undergraduate and research statistics for non-mathematicians, and others who wish to acquire an intuitive understanding of data interpretation. The course is widely used in universities and colleges, and in commercial organisations.

  • A non-mathematical but accurate course
  • Developed by a statistics teacher
  • Teaches through pattern recognition and simple logic
  • Step-by-step from the beginning: assumes no prior knowledge
  • Straightforward language, introducing statistical terms gradually
  • Data and targets generated randomly for exercises: different every time
  • Can revisit and revise sections whenever you want
  • Example data drawn from a variety of disciplines: no specialist knowledge required
  • Ideal for learning critical appraisal and research skills
  • Easy to navigate
  • Progress log keeps track of how far you have got
  • Supported by an integral glossary
  • Develops the confidence to engage with more traditional resources


    How does it work?

    Traditional teaching vs Statistics for the Terrified

    Imagine learning to play chess from nothing but the rules and a diagram, or learning musical composition without sound. Unfortunately, many statistics courses take a very theoretical approach, leading to just this sort of problem. Add to this that most courses also assume a high level of mathematical skill, and it is like trying to learn chess without a board in a foreign language.

    We take a different approach. Explanations are given in clear straightforward english, difficult statistical problems become puzzles of logic and pattern recognition. We provide dynamic graphs in directed problem-solving, where the user manipulates the raw data whilst watching the patterns change. This builds up an intuitive understanding of how statistics works.

    Although the tutorial does cover some quite advanced topics, it approaches everything in a basic, commonsense way. Having gained an understanding at this level, you will be able to approach lectures and textbooks much more confidently.

    It will help you learn statistics, however terrified you are!

    Most of what people thoroughly know has been learnt by trial and error - and mathematical proofs don't come into it. For example, when learning to ride a bicycle, you don't need to know about angular velocity, frictional forces or gravitational pull - an intuitive understanding of all of them will be impressed on you more or less painfully!

    The challenges and games are played by changing the data: the points on our dynamic graphs are your game pieces, which may be moved in any direction. You are guided through a number of scenarios, and encouraged to experiment and observe changes in the resulting statistics, finally being challenged to generate particular outcomes. Although you may not understand the statistical processes at first, by the end you will have a clear intuitive grasp. By presenting the data simply and graphically, the software makes the results of your actions clear and easily understood.

    With the opportunity to experiment in this way, you become experienced in recognising patterns and exploring strategies without the risk of messing up a real experiment. It could take up to a decade to gain this amount of experience in actual research!

    As you become more confident, you may want to explore the mathematical side of Statistics. If you do, that information is there for you - but it never intrudes on your first intuitive learning.



  •   Statistics for the Terrified:

      •   Download demo
      •   Buy a copy
      •   What is it?
      •   What does it cover?
      •   Who is it for?
      •   What our users say
      •   History of S4T
      •   User survey results

      Free resources:

      •   Statistics glossary
      •   What is risk?
      •   Conditional probability
      •   Median and mean
      •   Evening the odds
      •   The prosecutor's fallacy
      •   Clinical trials
      •   n - sample size

      Contact us:

      •   Contact details

    "Well, I aced my stats course and I have to give credit to your program. It gave me straight forward explanations about some terrifying questions and I could go back and review as many times as I needed. All in all, you have a great product."

    Mark Edenfield

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