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Statistics for Terrified Biologists

360 pages
“We highly recommend it—not just for statistically terrified biology students and faculty, but also for those who are occasionally anxious or uncertain. In addition to being a good starting point to learn statistics, it is a useful place to return to refresh your memory.” –The Quarterly Review of Biology, March 2009

"During the entire course of my Ph.D. I've been (embarrasingly) looking for a way to teach myself the fundamentals of statistical analysis. At this point in my education, I've come to realize that often times, simply knowing the basics is enough for you to properly apply even the most complex analytical methods. ‘Statistics for Terrified Biologists’ has been just such a book - it was more than worth the $40 I spent on it, and while my 'book clubs' aren't meant to be reviews, I highly recommend the book to anyone who's in a similar predicament to my own." –Carlo Artieri's Blog Book Club

The typical biology student is “hardwired” to be wary of any tasks involving the application of mathematics and statistical analyses, but the plain fact is much of biology requires interpretation of experimental data through the use of statistical methods.

This unique textbook aims to demystify statistical formulae for the average biology student. Written in a lively and engaging style, Statistics for Terrified Biologists draws on the author’s 30 years of lecturing experience. One of the foremost entomologists of his generation, van Emden has an extensive track record for successfully teaching statistical methods to even the most guarded of biology students.

For the first time basic methods are presented using straightforward, jargon-free language. Students are taught to use simple formulae accurately to interpret what is being measured with each test and statistic, while at the same time learning to recognize overall patterns and guiding principles. Complemented by simple illustrations and useful case studies, this is an ideal statistics resource tool for undergraduate biology and environmental science students who lack confidence in their mathematical abilities.

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How to use this book Introduction The text of the chapters What should you do if you run into trouble? Elephants The numerical examples in the text Boxes Sparetime activities Executive summaries Why go to all that bother? The bibliography
Introduction What are statistics? Notation Notation for calculating the mean
Summarizing variation Introduction Different summaries of variation Range Total deviation Mean deviation Variance Whyn1? Why the squared deviations? The standard deviation The next chapter Sparetime activities
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When are sums of squares NOT sums of squares? Introduction Calculating machines offer a quicker method of calculating sums of squares Added squares The correction factor Avoid being confused by the term “sum of squares” Summary of the calculator method of calculating down to standard deviation Sparetime activities
The normal distribution Introduction Frequency distributions The normal distribution What per cent is a standard deviation worth? Are the percentages always the same as these? Other similar scales in everyday life The standard deviation as an estimate of the frequency of a number occurring in a sample From per cent to probability Executive summary 1 – The standard deviation
The relevance of the normal distribution to biological data To recap Is our observed distribution normal? Checking for normality What can we do about a distribution that clearly is not normal? Transformation Grouping samples Doing nothing! How many samples are needed? Factors affecting how many samples we should take Calculating how many samples are needed
Further calculations from the normal distribution Introduction Is “A” bigger than “B”? The yardstick for deciding Derivation of the standard error of a difference between two means Step 1 – from variance of single data to variance of means
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Step 2 – from variance of single data to “variance of differences” Step 3 – the combination of Steps 1 and 2; the standard error of difference between means (s.e.d.m.) Recap of the calculation of s.e.d.m. from the variance calculated from the individual values The importance of the standard error of differences between means Summary of this chapter Executive summary 2 – Standard error of a difference between two means Sparetime activities
Thettest Introduction The principle of thettest Thettest in statistical terms Whyt? Tables of thetdistribution The standardttest The procedure The actualttest ttest for means associated with unequal variances The s.e.d.m. when variances are unequal A worked example of thettest for means associated with unequal variances The pairedttest Pair when possible Executive summary 3 – Thettest Sparetime activities
One tail or two? Introduction Why is the analysis of varianceFtest onetailed? The twotailedFtest How many tails has thettest? The final conclusion on number of tails
10 Analysis of variance – What is it? How does it work? Introduction Sums of squares in the analysis of variance Some “madeup” variation to analyze by Anova The sum of squares table
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Using Anova to sort out the variation in Table C 91 Phase 1 91 Phase 2 92 SqADS – an important acronym 93 Back to the sum of squares table 96 How well does the analysis reflect the input? 96 End Phase 97 Degrees of freedom in Anova 97 The completion of the End Phase 99 The variance ratio 100 The relationship between “t” and “F” 101 Constraints on the analysis of variance 103 Adequate size of experiment 103 Equality of variance between treatments 103 Testing the homogeneity of variance 104 The element of chance: randomization 104 Comparison between treatment means in the analysis of variance 107 The least significant difference 108 A caveat about using the LSD 110 Executive summary 4 – The principle of the analysis of variance 111
11 Experimental designs for analysis of variance Introduction Fully randomized Data for analysis of a fully randomized experiment Prelims Phase 1 Phase 2 End Phase Randomized blocks Data for analysis of a randomized block experiment Prelims Phase 1 Phase 2 End Phase Incomplete blocks Latin square Data for the analysis of a Latin square Prelims Phase 1 Phase 2
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End Phase Further comments on the Latin square design Split plot Executive summary 5 – Analysis of a randomized block experiment Sparetime activities
12 Introduction to factorial experiments What is a factorial experiment? Interaction If there is no interaction What if there is interaction? How about a biological example? Measuring any interaction between factors is often the main/only purpose of an experiment How does a factorial experiment change the form of the analysis of variance? Degrees of freedom for interactions The similarity between the “residual” in Phase 2 and the “interaction” in Phase 3 Sums of squares for interactions
13 2Factor factorial experiments Introduction An example of a 2factor experiment Analysis of the 2factor experiment Prelims Phase 1 Phase 2 End Phase (of Phase 2) Phase 3 End Phase (of Phase 3) Two important things to remember about factorials before tackling the next chapter Analysis of factorial experiments with unequal replication Executive summary 6 – Analysis of a 2factor randomized block experiment Sparetime activity
14 Factorial experiments with more than two factors Introduction Different “orders” of interaction
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Example of a 4factor experiment 172 Prelims 173 Phase 1 175 Phase 2 175 Phase 3 176 To the End Phase 183 Addendum – Additional working of sums of squares calculations 186 Sparetime activity 192
15 Factorial experiments with split plots Introduction Deriving the split plot design from the randomized block design Degrees of freedom in a split plot analysis Main plots Subplots Numerical example of a split plot experiment and its analysis Calculating the sums of squares End Phase Comparison of split plot and randomized block experiment Uses of split plot designs Sparetime activity
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16 Thettest in the analysis of variance 213 Introduction 213 Brief recap of relevant earlier sections of this book 214 Least significant difference test 215 Multiple range tests 216 Operating the multiple range test 217 Testing differences between means 222 Suggested “rules” for testing differences between means 222 Presentation of the results of tests of differences between means 223 The results of the experiments analyzed by analysis of variance in Chapters 11–15 225 Sparetime activities 236
17 Linear regression and correlation Introduction Cause and effect Other traps waiting for you to fall into Extrapolating beyond the range of your data Is a straight line appropriate? The distribution of variability
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Regression Independent and dependent variables The regression coefficient (b) Calculating the regression coefficient (b) The regression equation A worked example on some real data The data (Box 17.2) Calculating the regression coefficient (b) – i.e. the slope of the regression line Calculating the intercept (a) Drawing the regression line Testing the significance of the slope (b)of the regression How well do the points fit the line? – the coefficient of 2 determination (r) Correlation Derivation of the correlation coefficient (r) An example of correlation Is there a correlation line? Extensions of regression analysis Nonlinear regression Multiple linear regression Multiple nonlinear regression Analysis of covariance Executive summary 7 – Linear regression Sparetime activities
18 Chisquare tests Introduction 2 When and where not to useχ The problem of low frequencies Yates’ correction for continuity 2 Theχfit”test for “goodness of The case of more than two classes 2 χwith heterogeneity 2 Heterogeneityχanalysis with “covariance” 2 Association (or contingency)χ 2×2 contingency table Fisher’s exact test for a 2×2 table Larger contingency tables Interpretation of contingency tables Sparetime activities
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19 Nonparametric methods (what are they?) Disclaimer Introduction Advantages and disadvantages of the two approaches Where nonparametric methods score Where parametric methods score Some ways data are organized for nonparametric tests The sign test The Kruskal–Wallis analysis of ranks Kendall’s rank correlation coefficient The main nonparametric methods that are available
Appendix 1 How many replicates
Appendix 2 Statistical tables
Appendix 3 Solutions to “Sparetime activities”
Appendix 4 Bibliography
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