You are here


A Gentle Introduction

Third Edition
Additional resources:

June 2012 | 488 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

With Statistics: A Gentle Introduction, Third Edition, an introductory stats class needn't be difficult or dull! This textbook has been specifically designed to curtail students' anxieties and minimize unnecessary formulas, while providing a comprehensive review of basic statistical designs and analyses. A wealth of additional real-world examples have been included to give a sense of how the science of statistics works, solves problems, and helps us make informed choices about the world we live in. The author minimizes the use of formulas, but provides a step-by-step approach to their solution, and includes a glossary of key terms, symbols, and definitions at the end of each chapter. Every chapter also includes a short story about historical and contemporary statisticians who figured prominently in the evolution of the discipline of statistics.


New to the Third Edition is the thorough incorporation of SPSS throughout, more visual material and figures, and an enhanced treatment of effect sizes, and more detailed explanation of statistical concepts.

About the Author
1. A Gentle Introduction
2. Descriptive Statistics: Understanding Distributions of Numbers
3. Statistical Parameters: Measures of Central Tendency and Variation
4. Standard Scores, the Z Distribution, and Hypothesis Testing
5. Inferential Statistics: The Controlled Experiment, Hypothesis Testing, and the z Distribution
6. An Introduction to Correlation and Regression
7. The t Test for Independent Groups
8. The t Test for Dependent Groups
9. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA): One-Factor Completely Randomized Design
10. After a Significant Analysis of Variance: Multiple Comparison Tests
11. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA): One-Factor Repeated-Measures Design
12. Analysis of Variance: Two-Factor Completely Randomized Design
13. Post Hoc Analysis of Factorial ANOVA
14. Factorial ANOVA: Additional Designs
15. Nonparametric Statistics: The Chi-Square Test
16. Other Statistical Parameters and Tests
Appendix A: z Distribution
Appendix B: t Distribution
Appendix C: Spearman's Correlation
Appendix D: The Chi-Square Distribution
Appendix E: F Distribution
Appendix F: Tukey's Table


Instructor Teaching Site
Instructor site includes a test bank, powerpoints, and the practice problem answers; student site includes flashcards.
Electronic Test Bank
A Respondus test bank is available for this text.

”The approach is ‘right on’–making statistics approachable and learnable, rather than a barrier to a student’s further education.”

Gerry Dizinno
The University of Texas at San Antonio

“Coolidge makes understanding statistics a fairly simple task, with clear examples, anecdotes, and analogies.”

Evita G. Bynum
University of Maryland Eastern Shore

“It is a very engaging book which incorporates humor along with clear presentation of statistical concepts. It is not as intimidating as some other texts. It incorporates research methods concepts skillfully.”

Naureen Bhullar
Widener University

“The author provides practical application of statistics to real problems to be solved.”

Karen H. Frith
University of Alabama in Huntsville

“I believe tone and more elementary explanations are what makes this text a very good tool especially for students who are required to take statistics but not anxious to take statistics.”

Marcia Ditmyer
University of Nevada Las Vegas

“I think the author did a great job for updating his textbook. I believe that the last edition was a fairly friendly textbook for students in undergraduate introductory statistics, but the update makes this textbook even friendlier.”

Hisanori Kobayashi
University of Rhode Island

“I like the conversational writing style and fascinating examples. The background information about important figures in the history and development of statistics separates this text from most others. The SPSS instructions are clear and easy to follow and the interpretation of the SPSS output is excellent.”

Marilyn Gibbons-Arhelger
Texas State University - San Marcos

A good book for helping students to develop their understanding and application of statistics although it may still be too complex for some undergraduate nurses.

Dr Gabrielle Thorpe
School of Nursing & Midwifery, University of East Anglia
July 6, 2015

Simple to read, good examples used in the book

Dr Lindsay Edwards
Physical Education , Hardin-Simmons University
June 1, 2015

Does what it says on the cover, a helpful text for statistics wary students

Mrs Carolyn Felton
Osteopathy, NESCOT
October 8, 2014
Key features

New to the Third Edition

  • Incorporates SPSS throughout, with SPSS Lessons at end of chapters and plentiful screenshots for guidance
  • Includes many more tables, figures, diagrams, and pictures, adding to the book's accessibility
  • Updates coverage of effect sizes and confidence intervals to address the new reporting standards of the American Psychological Association
  • Sharpens theoretical discussions of a number of statistical concepts—such as levels of significance, degrees of freedom, and multiple comparison tests—based on reviewer and student feedback

Key Features

  • Includes numerous examples that help make statistics engaging and relevant, helping students connect statistics to real-world research
  • Features a History Trivia box in each chapter, helping make statistics come to life
  • Provides end-of-chapter exercises including Practice Problems and SPSS Lessons

For the first time, I have incorporated the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software into the textbook. There are also many more tables, figures, diagrams, and pictures throughout the manuscript. There is enhanced treatment of effect sizes, and I have sharpened some of the theoretical points about statistical concepts. My students and I have corrected errors that were in the second edition, and I have included many of the suggestions and comments of the dedicated and careful reviewers of the drafts of the third edition. Specific changes to the chapters include the following:

· Chapter 1: The section on the data scales used in empirical measurement (nominal, ordinal, interval, and ratio) has been updated. The chapter also begins the SPSS lesson by covering such basic functions as opening the program, creating data files, changing variable display format, and so on.

· Chapter 2: The section on "chart junk" has been expanded, and an SPSS lesson on frequency distributions, bar charts and histograms, skewness and kurtosis, and describing data has been added.

· Chapter 3: The explanation on calculating the correct theoretical median when there is an even number of identical scores in the set has been amplified and refined, as has the section on using standard deviations for predictions. The SPSS lesson for this chapter encompasses measures of central tendency and variation statistics.

· Chapter 4: The section on using z distributions to text experimental hypotheses has been refined, and an SPSS lesson on converting raw scores to z scores and z scores to T scores has been added.

· Chapter 5: This chapter has been updated to address the reporting standards of the American Psychological Association (APA) for effect sizes and confidence intervals. APA guidelines for the interpretation and reporting of trends has also been added, as has a mention of the issues surrounding Null Hypothesis Significance Testing (NHST). The SPSS lesson for this chapter addresses cases, variables, and analysis conditions.

· Chapter 6: The revisions to this chapter refine the explanations of levels of significance, abuse of power, and interpreting scatterplots. The SPSS lesson for this chapter covers the Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient and scatterplots.

· Chapters 7 and 8: These null and alternative hypotheses for these chapters have been updated with more intuitive versions of their subscripts and explanations of those subscripts. There is an expanded explanation of the steps needed to determine significance for t tests. A measure of effect size, Cohen's d, has been added, as has Cohen's recommended guidelines for interpreting Cohen's d. The SPSS lessons for these chapters cover t tests for independent and dependent groups.

· Chapter 9: The explanation for determining the degrees of freedom has been refined, and the explanation of Type I error has been expanded. A measure of effect size, omega-squared, has been added, as has Cohen's recommended guidelines for interpreting omega-squared. The section on the theoretical outcome of the derived F value if the null hypothesis is true has been refined. Alternative names used for the 1-factor completely randomized analysis of variance (ANOVA) test have been provided, and the SPSS lesson for this chapter shows how to perform this test.

· Chapter 10: The discussion of multiple comparison tests has been updated, as has the explanation for computing Tukey's Highly Significant Differences (HSD) test. A summary table format commonly used for presenting Tukey's results has been added. The accompanying SPSS lesson shows how to perform multiple comparison tests.

· Chapters 11 and 12: The sections on interpreting the results of 1-factor repeated measures ANOVA and 2-factor completely randomized ANOVA have been updated and expanded. The test material for Chapter 11 has been updated for accuracy. The SPSS lessons for these chapters cover performing 1-factor repeated measures ANOVA and 2-factor completely randomized ANOVA using SPSS.

· Chapter 13: The explanation of why multiple comparison tests are not required for 2-level main effects has been updated, as has the explanation on when a multiple comparison test is needed. Additional plot graphs provide graphical representations of pairwise comparisons to aid their interpretation. The accompanying SPSS lesson focuses on performing a post hoc test for factorial ANOVA.

· Chapter 14: The test material for Chapter 14 has been updated for accuracy. The SPSS lesson shows how to perform ANOVA tests for the split plot and 2-factor repeated measures design.

· Chapter 15: The section on reporting chi-square has been expanded, and the accompanying SPSS lesson details the performance of the chi-square test.

· Chapter 16: This chapter has been revised for accuracy and updated for currency.

Sample Materials & Chapters


ch 1

ch 3

Preview this book

For instructors

Select a Purchasing Option

ISBN: 9781412991711

SAGE Knowledge is the ultimate social sciences digital library for students, researchers, and faculty. Hosting more than 4,400 titles, it includes an expansive range of SAGE eBook and eReference content, including scholarly monographs, reference works, handbooks, series, professional development titles, and more.

The platform allows researchers to cross-search and seamlessly access a wide breadth of must-have SAGE book and reference content from one source.

SAGE Knowledge brings together high-quality content from across our imprints, including CQ Press and Corwin titles.