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Essential Biostatistics (the book)

Essential Biostatistics (the book)

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Essential Biostatistics (the book)

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H.J. Motulsky
Essential Biostatistics,
ISBN: 978-0199365067

See the table of contents and two full chapters at

Some ways in which this book is unique

It doesn't explain how to calculate any statistical tests. In fact, it only includes two equations.

Chapter 1 is a fun chapter that explains how common sense can lead you astray and why we therefore need to understand statistical principles.

Chapter 2 is a unique approach to appreciating the complexities of probability.

I introduce statistical thinking with Chapter 4, which explains the confidence interval of a proportion. This lets me explain the logic of generalizing from sample to population using a confidence interval before having to deal with concepts about how to quantify the scatter.

I explain comparing groups with confidence intervals (Chapter 12) before explaining P values (Chapter 13) and statistical significance (Chapters 14 and 15). This way I could delay as long as possible dealing with the confusing concept of a P value and the overused word “significant”.

Chapter 16 explains how common Type I errors are, and the difference between a significance level and the false discovery rate.

Chapter 19 explains all common statistical tests as a series of tables.

I include topics often omitted from introductory texts, but that I consider to be essential, including: multiple comparisons, the false discovery rate, p-hacking, lognormal distributions, geometric mean, normality tests, outliers and nonlinear regression.

Nearly every chapter has a Lingo section explaining how statistical terminology can be misunderstood.

Nearly every chapter includes a Common Mistakes section, and Chapter 25 explains more general mistakes to avoid.

"Essential Biostatistics distills the essence of university-level biostatistics topics in accessible concise language that is engaging and thought-provoking. Students and practitioners of biostatistics will find Intuitive Biostatistics: The Essentials to be an excellent resource that provides clarity on major statistical concepts and procedures while also illuminating erroneous statistical conclusions many fall prey to. This text would be an excellent companion to a traditional biostatistics book."
--Derek Webb, Bemidji State University

"The author does a great job explaining why we use statistics rather than getting bogged down explaining how we calculate statistics. I find it refreshing to step back from the calculations to see the larger context of why we use statistics in science."
--Dean W. Coble, Stephen F. Austin State University

"I really like the clear and humorous style, the wealth of examples, and the discussions of the limits and pitfalls. This is a wonderful book."
--Naji Younes, George Washington University

"Motulsky seems to have done the impossible, again.  He has taken his already great textbook and extracted the bare-bones necessary for the reader to enjoy a lively, easy-to-read introduction to the concepts of biostatistics.  In addition, Motulsky provides the reader with a discussion of common mistakes and how to avoid them.  This is invaluable for a true understanding of biostatistics.  Essential Biostatistics should be required reading for all beginning biology or biostatistics students.  It provides foundational material for interpreting statistical analysis."
--Philip Hejduk, University of Texas at Arlington