Confounding and Cornfield: Back to the
Future. By Milo Schield
(2018) for ICOTS 10. "Cornfield's minimum effect size is one of the
greatest contributions of statistics to human knowledge alongside the
Central limit theorem and Fisher's use of random assignment to statistically
control for pre-existing confounders." "To change the future, we need
to go back to when Jerome Cornfield argued that smoking caused cancer."
"Our unwillingness to talk about observational causation, confounding and
strength of evidence is arguably the primary reason our students' see little
value in the introductory statistics normally taught in Stat 101." "We
need to teach multivariate statistics, confounding and the Cornfield
conditions so students will appreciate statistics."
IASE 2019 Satellite
Conference Announcement. Kuala Lumpur
2018 Oct: ISI Objectives:
"#4. To advocate and foster statistical literacy, the use of statistics and
data in decision making by governments, businesses and individuals."
Statistical Literacy and the Lognormal Distribution.
By Milo Schield (2018) for ASA JSM. "There is
no public data on the income share of the top 1% of households; those
percentages are estimates. Those estimates vary from 5% to 40%. They are
based on different data using different definitions and different models."
Schield selected as a
Fellow by the American Statistical Association.
The Book of Why: A New Science of Cause and Effect.
Summary and TOC.
"Judea Pearl's new book, The Book of Why, is a must read for anyone
interested in philosophy, science, machine learning or statistics.
"The Book of Why is arguably the most important book on causal
statistics since Cornfield debated Fisher on whether
smoking caused lung cancer." Schield (2018)
2018 May Six Books that Sharpened my BS Detector
by Joseph Makansi.
Seven Habits of Highly Numerate People by Doug
Berdie. Minneapolis Star and Tribune.
2018 March 4:
Analytics and Big Data Summit.
Marc Isaacson and Milo Schield (Quant-Fluent)
three-hour workshop on Data Literacy and Statistical Literacy
2017 June 21
Issue: Statistical Literacy
future of Statistical Literacy is the future of statistics Editorial
by guest editors Jim Ridgway and James Nicholson.
"On an optimistic note, Milo Schield argues that the 2016 revision of
the GAISE Guidelines marks a major step forward in promoting statistical
literacy via its increased emphasis on evidence appropriate for decision
making – such as paying attention to study design and multivariate data
and associated concepts such as confounding."
"Conclusion: Statistical literacy is a pre-requisite for an
informed democracy. Increasing statistical literacy is a key element in
warding off the existential crisis we face. Revising current curricula
in school and at university to ensure that there is an adequate focus on
using evidence to make decisions in realistic contexts is an essential
starting point. At least as important is for statistics educators to
take a broader view of their task, and to engage directly with the
illiteracies encountered in broadcast and social media – for example by
direct critique, or by promoting statistical literacy directly. There is
a need for disparate elements of the statistics community to come
together; cultivating statistical literacy across the whole of society
should be a goal that brings like-minded people together with a common
the Classroom to the Workplace: How Social Science Students Are Learning
to do Data Analysis for Real by Jackie Carter, Mark Brown, and
Stories, Landing Planes and Getting Them Moving – A Holistic Approach to
Developing Students' Statistical Literacy by Julie Scott Jones and
John E. Goldring
Opening Real Science: Evaluation of an Online Module on Statistical
Literacy for Pre-Service Primary Teachers by Ayse Aysin Bombaci
Bilgin, Elizabeth Date-Huxtable, Carmel Coady, Vincent Geiger, Michael
Cavanagh, Joanne Mulligan, and Peter Petocz
Developing Statistical Literacy in the Final School Year by
Stephanie Budgett and Drusilla Rose
Interpretation of Statistical Data: The Importance of Affective
Expressions by Tamires Queiroz, Carlos Monteiro, Liliane Carvalho,
and Karen François
The Development of Statistical Literacy at School by Rosemary
Callingham and Jane M. Watson
Success Factors for Statistical Literacy Poster Competitions by
Steve MacFeely, Pedro Campos, and Reija Helenius.
Statistical Literacy in Public Debate – Examples from the UK 2015
General Election by Phoebe Arnold
Panorama of Statistics: Perspectives, puzzles and paradoxes in statistics
by Eric Sowey & Peter Petocz.
"The authors guide readers, who already
know something of statistics, to see the richness of the discipline and
to let them discover its fascinations. Among the chapters you can find
aspects of statistics (e.g. statistical literacy, intellectual history,
and epistemology) that are outside the conventional instructional
mainstream and beyond the scope of most textbooks. This is a book which
can engage curious students, teachers, and consumers of statistics, as
well as practitioners of statistics and of statistics-using
Table of Contents: Part I. Introduction.
1) Why is statistics such a fascinating subject? 2) How statistics
differs from Mathematics 3) Statistical literacy - essential in the 21st
century! 4) Statistical inquiry on the web. Part II: Statistical
description 5) Trustworthy statistics are accurate, meaningful and
relevant 6) Let hear it for the standard deviation! 7) Index numbers -
time travel for averages 8) The beguiling ways of bad statistics I 9)
The beguiling ways of bad statistics II Part III: Preliminaries to
inference 10) Puzzles and paradoxes in probability 11) Some
paradoxes of randomness 12) Hidden risks for gamblers 13) Models in
statistics 14) The normal distribution: history, computation and
curiosities Part IV Statistical inference 15) The pillars of
applied statistics I - estimation 16) The pillars of applied statistics
II - hypothesis testing 17) 'Data snooping' and the significance level
in multiple testing 18) Francis Galton and the birth of regression 19)
Experimental design - piercing the veil of random variation 20) In
praise of Bayes Part V: Some statistical byways 21) Quality in
statistics 22) History of ideas: statistical personalities and the
personalities of statisticians 23) Statistical eponymy 24) Statistical
'laws' 25) Statistical artifacts Part VI: Answers to chapter questions
2017 May 16 Atlantic.
Protecting the Public Commons
by Alexander B. Howard May. "A core component of a high school education should include
teaching people how to judge risk, statistical literacy, and how to
exercise our rights to access public information."
2017 May 12 New ISI Objective:
To advocate and foster statistical literacy, the use of statistics and data
in decision making by governments, businesses and individuals.
ISI 2017 Update of Mission
2016 Mission and Objectives.
2017 April 29: Schield invited to talk on
Statistical Literacy in Toronto at the
Institute Math-Ed forum.
Statistical Literacy: What is it... Who needs it... What is
2016 July: Offering STAT 102: Social Statistics for
Decision Makers. Schield IASE
Roundtable in Berlin.
Introduction to Statistical Investigations
by Tintle, Chance, Cobb, Rossman, Roy, Swanson
& VanderStoep (2015).
Wiley Description & TOC
The Math Myth and Other STEM Delusions
Book by Andrew Hacker.
The Wrong Way to Teach Math
2/2016. NY Times
Is Algebra Necessary? 7/2012 NY Times. Reviews:
"Hecker: Down with Algebra II". 2012 Rebuttals:
Devlin. 2016 Rebuttals:
4. "Willful Ignorance" by Herb Weisberg (picture above) is now
available!! [Editor: This book is my #1 pick for 2014.]
Weisberg's grasp of statistical history
is comprehensive without being over-whelming. But this is more than
just a history book on statistics. Weisberg has a point to make --
that statisticians have mis-measured uncertainty! And this mis-measurement
involves "willful ignorance"!!! These are fighting words for
statisticians who consider the proper measurement of uncertainty to be their
primary task. For more details on Herbert Weisberg, visit
his page. If you buy one
statistics book this year, buy this one!
Two Big Ideas for Teaching Big
Data: Coincidence and Confounding
by Milo Schield. ECOTS invited paper
downloaded 4,200 times in the seven months it has been
posted in 2014. See also Schield
slides presented at Big
"I hope that...statistical literacy
will...rise to the top of your advocacy list" Ruth Carver,
29% of US Freshman took stats in high school
(15% took AP Stats), so 14% took non-AP Stats.
2012 Am. Freshman
(More than 9,000 computer-generated as of 5/2014):
For example: Number of people who died by
becoming tangled in their bed sheets correlates with Total revenue generated
by skiing facilities (US). [Great examples, but a high correlation
coefficient between two times series does not imply statistical significance
-- much less a causal connection. See
2014 10: Highest Monthly Downloads: October had
downloads from this site: the highest number in our ten-year history.
Last year's monthly high was 26,000 in May. The biggest cause is
the download of the the PowerPoint demos to create various statistics and
models using Excel: over 67,000 YTD. The "Create-Lognormal-Excel2013"
demo has had 36,000 downloads so far this year.
2014 11: Highest Monthly Index Views @
November had 6,200 index views --
33% more than last year's monthly high.
"Statistical literacy is the ability to
read and interpret summary statistics in the everyday media: in graphs,
tables, statements, surveys and studies. Statistical literacy is
needed by data consumers – students in non-quantitative majors: majors with
no quantitative requirement such as political science, history, English,
primary education, communications, music, art and philosophy. About 40% of
all US college students graduating in 2003 had non-quantitative majors."
By Milo Schield in "Assessing Statistical Literacy: Take CARE" Ch 11 in
Assessment Methods in Statistical Education, pp. 133-152.
Wiley 2010 Schield excerpts
Short introduction to Statistical Literacy.
For more on confounding, see Standardizing.
UK Parliament Briefing paper on Statistical Literacy
Statistical literacy: "the ability to
read and interpret statistics, and think critically about arguments that use
statistics as evidence"
Development Dictionary (move slider to "s") [link broken/missing in
Statistical literacy: "understanding
the basic language of statistics (e.g., knowing what statistical terms and
symbols mean and being able to read statistical graphs), and understanding
some fundamental ideas of statistics."
GAISE College Report
Search StatLit Site
Yearly highlights of grants, new books, conference papers (ICOTS, ISI,
JSM, JMM), and events involving statistical literacy.
Newest StatLit.org web pages:
THREE MOST IMPORTANT
STATISTICAL LITERACY ARTICLES SINCE 2002
If you read just one article,
read Appendix B of the 2016 update to the ASA GAISE recommendations.
This paper argues that introductory statistics courses should
include multivariate thinking (and confounding).
The second-most important
paper introduces confounding as 'one
of the two major themes in statistical analysis'. See
Challenging the state of the art in post-introductory statistics
by Tintle, Chance, Cobb, Rossman, Roy, Swanson and VanderStoep
(2013). The third by the same authors is
Introduction to Statistical Investigations (2016).
"By introducing confounding, these
three papers are arguably the most important
non-Schield papers in statistical education since 2002 when Howard Wainer
publicized 'The BK-Plot: Making Simpsons' Paradox Clear to the
Masses'. Together they mark a new
beginning of statistics education for the 21st century." Milo Schield,
ARTICLES/SLIDES POSTED in
2015 ARTICLES POSTED TO
STATLIT.ORG (by Month)
Challenge Statistical Claims in Media, Martinez-Dawson ASA 2013
2015 SLIDES and WORKSHEETS HOSTED
07 2013 MSMESB: MS Business Analytics program.
ARTICLES/SLIDES POSTED in
2014 ARTICLES POSTED TO
STATLIT.ORG (by Month)
AMSTAT: Causality in Statistics Education Award 2013.
stat analysis not done by statisticians Simply Statistics 2013
Simpson's Paradox in Psychological Science by Kievit et al. 2013.
Statistical Literacy Explained by Hewson, Teaching Statistics, 2013
in a Math-Literate World by Orlin, Huffington Post, 2013
Statistical Literacy Campaign and Initiatives. 2014
SIGMAA-QL 2013 Newsletter. Bennet: Writing for general
Call for Statistical
Literacy papers. 2014 Stat-Ed Research Jrnl.
Cutoffs for Statistical Significance. Schield 2014
SRTL-9 Proposal: Informal Doorways to Modeling. Schield 2014
and Uses of Convenience Samples Kriska et al. ASA 2013
Seeing how Statistical Significance is Contextual. Schield 2003.
Simpson's Paradox #30 Classic Problems in Probability. Gorroochurn
Simon Schild Maps: Bellenberg Germany & Benton County IA. 2014
journey from Bellenberg Germany to America. 2002
2013 MSMESB/DSI Annual Report
by Robert Andrews
Odyssey: Lifelong Statistical Literacy Schield 2014 ICOTS
Two Big Ideas for Teaching Big Data Schield ECOTS 2014
Teaching Big Data at
Georgetown. Sigman et al. Decision Line 2014
Proposal: Summary AACU Schield 2014
Augsburg's NSF Proposal:
Summary. Schield 2014
Visualization of Economic Indicators.
Thompson+Wallace. ASA 2013.
Fusion & causal analysis in big marketing data. Mandel ASA 2013
Distributional Assumption: Benford’s Law. Goodman ASA 2013
Challenge Statistical Claims in Media, Martinez-Dawson ASA 2013
2014 SLIDES and WORKSHEETS HOSTED
11 Business Analytics and Data Science. Schield
DSI 2014 slides
10 Statistical Literacy+Coincidence. Schield NNN1
Workshop 2014 slides
10 Explore Log-Normal Incomes Schield NNN2 2014
10 Creating Distributions Empirically. M.
Schield. NNN3 Workshop
10 Statistically-Significant Correlations. Milo
Schield. NNN4 2014
10 Segmented Linear Regression. Schield. NNN5
08 Top 30 Learning Goals for
Introductory Sociology. Persell 2010
08 Social Science Reasoning & QL Learning Goals Caulfield+Persell'06List
07 2013 MSMESB: Predictive Analytics
course. Levine et al.
07 2013 MSMESB: Spreadsheet Analytics. James R.
07 2013 MSMESB: Implications of Big Data for Stat
Ed. Berenson slides
07 2013 MSMESB: Big Data & Statistics
07 2013 MSMESB: Big Data in Stat 101: Small
changes. McKenzie slides
07 2013 MSMESB: Create Business Analytics class.
Kirk Karawan. slides
07 2013 MSMESB: Getting Analytics into the
curriculum. Karawan. slides
07 2013 MSMESB: Analytics and the Evolving
07 2013 MSMESB: MS Business Analytics program.
TOP DOWNLOADS: 2017
Top 20 Downloads of Papers
(# months stats tabulated)
to Lies: Information Age (TOC+Intro) Levitin 2016 (10)
Interpreting Cumulative Frequency
Distribution Winkler 2009 (11)
Substantive significance of
regression coef. Miller 2008 ASA (12)
Visual Analog Scales Tom Knapp 2013
Common Statistical Fallacies Social
Indicator Data Klass 2008 (12)
2,516 Framework Interpreting
Tables & Graphs Kemp/Kissane 2010 (12)
Literacy Guide. Bolton, UK 2009
2,377 Unpublished Quantitative Research
Methods Book Knapp 2016 ( 8)
Graphs in USA Today Schield 2006 Total 100,052 (12)
1,525 Making Statistics Memorable: New
Mnemonics. Lesser 2011 JSM ( 8)
Practical Approach Intro Poli-Sci
Statistics Course Klass 2004 ( 8)
1,301 Statistical Literacy: Thinking
Critically about Stats Schield 1999 ( 9)
Learning Statistics through Playing Cards. Knapp 2012
1,183 To Pool or Not
to Pool. Knapp 2013
Presenting Confounding Graphically/Standardization Schield '06
1,057 Three Paradoxes in
Interpreting Group Differences Wainer 2004 ( 5)
Two Big Ideas for Teaching Big Data
Schield 2014 ECOTS ( 6)
873 Numeracy: New
Literacy for Data-Drenched Society Steen 1999 ( 6)
Literacy Curriculum Design Schield, 2004 IASE (
Top Downloads of Excel-Related Slides (All by Schield)1. 13,167 Create lognormal in Excel 2013.
Model using Linear Trendline 2Y1X Excel
3. 4,989 T-Test command with Excel
histograms using functions w Excel 2013
5. 1,930 Create Pivot Tables using Excel 2008
Model using Linear Trendline Excel 2013
Graph nominal data w Excel 2013
8. 1,367 Using the Z-test via functions in Excel
952 Model Logistic
Regression MLE using Excel 2013.
10 802 Model Toolpak Regress linear 3
factor 1Y2X Excel 2013.
11 762 Model Logistic Regression OLS1C
POPULAR STATLIT AUTHORS IN 2017
ACADEMIC STATLIT AUTHORS IN 2017
MOST POPULAR STATLIT PAGES in 2017
Index to StatLit.org website [This page]
Howard Wainer author page
Quantitative Literacy/Reasoning Textbooks as of
Statistical Literacy Articles by Year posted
StatLit News: 2009 News of the Year
StatLit News: 2013 News of the Year
Joel Best author page
techniques by Schield
StatLit News: 2012 News of the Year
StatLit News: 2011 News of the Year
StatLit Tools Excel-based tools for analyzing
Gerald Bracey author page
StatLit News: 2008 News of the Year
Gerd Gigerenzer author page
Adult Numeracy page
StatLit News: 2014 News of the
StatLit News: 2007 News of the
1,179 Blastland author page
1,110 StatLit News: 2006
News of the Year
Milo Schield author page with related items
Note: the leading number is the number of
page reads for each page
OTHER RECOMMENDED INTRO BOOKS
Victor Cohn (1989),
News and Numbers
How To Lie with Statistics
Edward Tufte (1995),
presenting a general background or overview.
Fifteen articles involving the W. M. Keck Statistical Literacy Project:
Sense of Statistics by Nigel Hawkes and Leonor Sierra. Section
1: If a statistic is the answer, what was the question?
Section 2: Common pitfalls. Section 3: How sure are we?
Section 4: Percentages and risk; knowing the absolute and relative
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