Primer on Statistics for Non-Statisticians

Introduction and Contents

We can all look up statistics books, but I decided to include a primer on the subject as a quick reference. I have included the more mathematical parts in red text so they can be skipped, and the principles can still hopefully be understood graphically. The aim is to provide a broad understanding of a few important concepts, such as:

  • The difference between normally and non-normally distributed data
  • What a p-value means, why 0.05 is considered an important value, and what we mean when we use the term “significant”.
  • How to determine if a sample is significantly different from a certain mean value, or if samples are significantly different from one another.
  • The difference between saying there is no evidence for a link between x and y and saying there is evidence for no link between x and y.
  • Choosing the right statistical test for the right circumstance

The content pages of this primer are listed below. They may be read individually for  reference, or in order as a more formal guide: