© 2001

Fundamentals of Modern Statistical Methods

Substantially Improving Power and Accuracy

  • Written at a popular level, it assumes no prior training in statistics

  • Many examples are included to illustrate practical problems

  • Allows non-statisticians to take advantage of modern methods of statistical analysis


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Introduction

    1. Rand R. Wilcox
      Pages 1-8
  3. Part One

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 9-9
    2. Rand R. Wilcox
      Pages 11-30
    3. Rand R. Wilcox
      Pages 31-47
    4. Rand R. Wilcox
      Pages 49-66
    5. Rand R. Wilcox
      Pages 67-91
    6. Rand R. Wilcox
      Pages 93-115
    7. Rand R. Wilcox
      Pages 117-135
  4. Part Two

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 137-137
    2. Rand R. Wilcox
      Pages 139-158
    3. Rand R. Wilcox
      Pages 159-178
    4. Rand R. Wilcox
      Pages 179-203
    5. Rand R. Wilcox
      Pages 205-228
    6. Rand R. Wilcox
      Pages 229-243
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 245-258

About this book


Conventional statistical methods have a very serious flaw: They routinely miss differences among groups or associations among variables that are detected by more modern techniques - even under very small departures from normality. Hundreds of journal articles have described the reasons standard techniques can be unsatisfactory, but simple, intuitive explanations are generally unavailable. Improved methods have been derived, but they are far from obvious or intuitive based on the training most researchers receive. Situations arise where even highly nonsignificant results become significant when analyzed with more modern methods. Without assuming any prior training in statistics, Part I of this book describes basic statistical principles from a point of view that makes their shortcomings intuitive and easy to understand. The emphasis is on verbal and graphical descriptions of concepts. Part II describes modern methods that address the problems covered in Part I. Using data from actual studies, many examples are included to illustrate the practical problems with conventional procedures and how more modern methods can make a substantial difference in the conclusions reached in many areas of statistical research.


calculus comparing groups correlation data analysis maximizing power nonnormality robust methods statistical method statistics studying associations violations of assumptions

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
IT & Software
Finance, Business & Banking
Energy, Utilities & Environment
Oil, Gas & Geosciences


From the reviews:


"The writing is simple and direct…The explicit goals set by the author, reminiscent of Lindquist’s presentation of some elementary ideas in analysis, are excellent…The volume is a jewel of direct explanations and information necessary for good understanding of analysis of data, aimed at ordinary researchers who must try to present reasonable interpretable accounts of their data or judge when to abandon a particular strategy and for what reason."


"... a very readable introduction about understanding basic statistics from the point of view of modern developments and insights achieved during the past forty years. ...
This is an excellent book, which gives a thorough and very clear description of today's most important techniques of the basic standard methods with some historical background and special attention to keep the technical details to a minimum. The author has performed a real service to the profession.
The book is not only highly recommended, but it should be required reading for anyone embarking on a career as a statistician in any field where a critical evaluation of data is required."

"The book may give a basic idea of what statistics can offer, for those with little or no exposure to statistics.”

"This book … constitutes a wonderful complement to any introductory statistics course. The text is typically suited to the keen undergraduate student who seeks a deeper understanding of the historical background and modern developments of many commonly used statistical methods that are far too often taken for granted. The author approaches the subject matter in a highly accessible manner … . I would have no objection to any university library purchasing this book, as it would be a delightful addition to any statistical collection." (Gary S. Collins, Journal of Applied Statistics, Vol. 30 (1), 2003)

"The book, authored by a professor of psychology with experience in applied statistics, is aimed at non-professional statisticians. … The statistical concepts are explained at an elementary level in a nontechnical way … . I recommend the book … . It is an excellent guide for practitioners and it has an extensive bibliography on bootstrap methods, making it an indispensable reference source. … The book may give a basic idea of what statistics can offer, for those with little or no exposure to statistics." (Gutti J. Babu, Technometrics, Vol. 44 (1), 2002)

"This book is meant for the practitioners and experimentalists who need to use statistical techniques for understanding their observations. The issues addressed here are very important for them … . The relatively non-technical and illustrative description of the materials … serves the purpose very well. Besides, this book will help the final-semester undergraduate students to appreciate the limitations of what they have learnt and prepare them for an advanced level course on modern techniques, as the title suggests.” (Anup Dewanji, Sankhya: Indian Journal of Statistics, Vol. 64 (B Part 2), 2002)

"This enjoyable book highlights some of the deficiencies of classical statistics and introduces some of the repairs offered by modern statistics in an easy-to-understand, intuitive style, aimed at the applied user of statistics. … With its low technical level the book makes suitable spare-time reading and the essential messages are quickly grasped with the aid of simple examples. … For a reader who has little prior knowledge … this book may fill a useful niche." (Alexander McNeil, ASTIN Bulletin, Vol. 32 (1), 2002)

"This book is about understanding basic statistics from the point of view of modern developments. … The use of these methods is supported by many published journal articles. The goal here is: Explaining modern methods to applied researchers who might benefit from their use. The book will be useful to applied researchers in various fields who are looking for a judicious application of modern statistical techniques." (V. P. Gupta, Zentralblatt MATH, Vol. 969, 2001)