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Description: This book and its supporting materials are ideally suited for graduate students in professional degree programs in public policy, education, social work, criminology, urban planning, and related schools as well as advanced undergraduates in these fields. The bookâ€™s explanations, descriptions, illustrations, and step-by-step exercises create the skills and knowledge required of a policy analyst, advisor, consultant or the elected or appointed public official or nonprofit officer who wants to be better able to interpret and evaluate othersâ€™ applied social research. Its data sets, solutions sets, instructorsâ€™ manual, lecture slides, and student workbook provide instructors with a complete and fully integrated instructional package. The book helps readers understand how to collect, manage, evaluate, and analyze data. It also provides guidelines for the presentation of analysis, especially for nonacademic audiences without training in statistical analysis. These guidelines help ensure that statistics and graphical displays tell the story that analysts want to convey while protecting their analysis from methodological criticism. Unlike other introductory textbooks in statistics, Statistical Persuasion: combines a concern for the design, collection, measurement, and the management of data with its analysis and presentation Â· provides examples and data concerning real world problems in education, crime, government performance, and other policy arenas Â· clearly demonstrates the steps used to generate the appropriate statistics and graphs in Excel and SPSS and then provides exercises to replicate and elaborate on these examples Â· focuses attention on the conceptual understanding of statistics, while referring (sparingly) to specific formulas when they help reveal a conceptual point about the statistics Â· builds on research on perception, attention, cognition, and memory to develop guidelines for survey question construction and graphical design Â· enriches readersâ€™ understanding of substantive issues in education, welfare, and public administration along the way Â· embeds statistics within a political framework, thus alerting those who wield these tools to the temptation to distort data and its interpretation, the limits of dispassionate analysis, and the conditions under which sound analysis can inform public decisions Â· brings a sense of humor to the task without becoming silly or flip, being clear without â€œdumming downâ€ the material. This textbook is less technical than many others. Its purpose, metaphorically, is to teach readers how to drive a car. Itâ€™s not a manual for becoming an automobile mechanic. Thereâ€™s no need to know everything thatâ€™s going on under the hood in order to be a good driver. Instead, competent analysts or consumers of much applied social research need to know how to start the engine, the rules of the road, and courteous and rude driving practices. They need to know the speed limit, when the driving conditions require them to slow down, when the open road and weather conditions allows them to let the throttle out. They need to know when to signal and who has the right of way. And they need to know when to call for help from the Automobile Association of America.