Principles and Methods of Statistics

Principles and Methods of Statistics

Principles and Methods of Statistics

Principles and Methods of Statistics

Excerpt

In spite of a widespread human interest in numerical facts, statistics, not long ago, was a subject which had only a small, though loyal, following. In recent years, the rapid progress that has been made in the prose- cuting of statistical inquiries and the perfecting of statistical technique has been matched by an equally rapid general growth of interest in statistical studies. To this the increasing number of excellent introductory textbooks available to the student of statistics bears witness. It is no disparagement of other books to say that many teachers and students will find that Professor Chaddock's work will best meet their own particular needs.

It is the product not only of sound scholarship but also of long and conspicuously successful experience in the teaching of statistics. Throughout the book Professor Chaddock is the teacher as well as the statistician. This shows itself in the general plan and arrangement of the book, in the apportioning of space and of emphasis, and in the painstaking care given to every detail of exposition. It will be clear, furthermore, that Professor Chaddock has carefully appraised the needs, the purposes, and the initial equipment of the average student. For one thing, no mathematical knowledge is assumed, beyond the most elementary processes of algebra.

The book has another conspicuous merit. It treats of statistical methods as general rather than special tools. This, in my opinion, is as it should be. The student of vital statistics, for example, will be better equipped for his work if he knows something about the general uses, possibilities, and limitations of statistical method. So also, to take another example, with the student whose interest is primarily in the light which statistical analysis may throw upon business problems and policies. In particular, it is a mistake to put a fence around a narrow field, and dub it "economic statistics," or "social statistics," as the case may be. Students of economics are likely to profit quite as much by studying population statistics as by studying index numbers. And who will venture to say just what portions of the field that is coming to be called "business statistics" are not of importance to the student of economics? Professor Chaddock nowhere permits his interest in any one field of inquiry to obscure the importance of other uses of statistical method. In this respect, as in others, his book displays judgment and balance.

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