Review of R. Wilcox’s “Fundamentals of Modern Statistical Methods: Substantially Improving Power and Accuracy”

There is only one introductory statistics text that can compare with this one: Dr. Wilcox’s Basic Statistics: Understanding Conventional Methods and Modern Insights. If one is teaching (or is independently studying) basic statistics, these two books are the only texts that should be considered. Also, the determining factor is mathematical literacy. If one is teaching (or self-teaching) and approaches all things “math” related with trepidation, then Dr. Wilcox’s other text is a better place to start. However, this is the best introduction to statistics textbook available. It requires only slightly more mathematical literacy than Dr. Wilcox’s other introductory text, but covers information that most graduate researchers are ignorant of. The book is designed according to two principles:
1) Providing a maximally self-contained text on statistics
2) Covering the material that most such texts do, but only to introduce vastly superior methods that are largely unknown even by a majority of researches across many sciences.

The textbook’s organization couldn’t be better. First, it is divided into two parts. The first covers standard statistical methods and tests, but does so not just to explain them but to demonstrate concisely and intuitively how they are superior to methods that are mostly equally simple. Part two introduces robust methods that are unfortunately little known compared to those used by most researchers and taught to most students in the sciences.
The supremely excellent organization of this text, though, doesn’t stop at this macro level. Every chapter includes a summary of key points, and almost every chapter include a bibliography of recommended texts that everyone who works with statistics should be familiar with.
Providing a minimal familiarity with mathematics, there quite simply isn’t any introductory statistic that compares. Not only does this text cover the standard introductory statistics one would find in any other such text, and not only does this coverage include much needed criticisms, but it also provides the student with powerful, robust methods that are elementary but not included in any other textbook for introductory statistics.
Even more remarkable, many graduate level statistics textbooks fail to provide either such easily followed explanations underlying statistical methods or cover robust statistics that are superior and usually far simpler to many of those graduate researchers learn.
I have spent years teaching and tutoring high school, undergraduate, and graduate students in statistics. I’ve used (whether I was required to or not), dozens and dozens of textbooks, and reviewed far more. This is quite simply the best textbook in its class.

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