Exploring Statistics: Tales of Distributions (12th edition) by Chris Spatz

Exploring Statistics: Tales of Distributions (13th edition)

Exploring Statistics: Tales of Distributions

12th edition

A college textbook by Chris Spatz

Hardback, 495 pages, 2-color



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By Drs. Lindsay Kennedy, Jennifer Peszka, and Leslie Zorwick, all of Hendrix College



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Exploring Statistics: Tales of Distributions (12th ed.) is a textbook with a voice – the voice of an encouraging professor who wants students to succeed.

Praise from Professors

“I just wanted to once again thank you for such a terrific statistics text.  My students rave about how easy it is to follow”

John Pfister – Dartmouth

"My students and I absolutely loved the book! The great narratives and examples reduce a lot of math anxiety the students have."

Jazmin Brown-Iannuzzi – University of Virginia
     Hero Woodrow Wilson Foundation Scholarship

“I am always looking for a new, better textbook in all of my classes except statistics.  “Tales” makes my job so much easier.”

Jennifer Peszka – Hendrix College
     Carnegie Foundation Teacher of the Year – Arkansas

Tales …“is proving a much gentler and more intuitive introduction than what we’ve had in the past.”

Billy Pizer – Duke University

"In addition to being one of the most lucid and student-friendly texts out there, I appreciate your commitment to making the book affordable."

Karen Boswell – Siena College

"I love your textbook - it's so easy to read and accessible for students."

Sara Berzenski – California State University – Northridge

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Short, fun history of Exploring Statistics video

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How Exploring Statistics: Tales of Distributions (12th edition) is different from other statistics textbooks

Exploring Statistics: Tales of Distributions (12th edition) directly acknowledges that the practice of statistics is in a state of transition. Null hypothesis significance testing (NHST), the main-stay technique of the 20th century, is under attack.  Exploring Statistics: Tales of Distributions (12th edition) addresses this transition and emphasizes effect size indexes and confidence intervals. At the same time, the text maintains the clear explanations of NHST and the engaging writing style that made previous editions so successful.


Features that distinguish Exploring Statistics: Tales of Distributions (12th edition)

  • Data sets are approached with an attitude of exploration

  • Effect size indexes and confidence intervals are promoted

  • A web-based, test-planning exercise helps students prepare for tests

  • The basics of experimental design are included

  • Interpretation is emphasized throughout

  • Changes in statistical practice over the years are acknowledged

  • The history of statistics is a recurring theme

  • Examples and problems come from a variety of disciplines and everyday life

  • Most problems are based on actual studies rather than fabricated scenarios

  • Problems are interspersed within a chapter, not grouped at the end

  • Answers to problems are extensive – 52 pages of detailed answers

  • A final chapter, Choosing Tests and Writing Interpretations requires active responses to comprehensive questions
  • Computer software analyses are illustrated with IBM SPSS printouts

  • Important words and phrases are defined in the margin when they first occur

  • Appendix A is designed to help alleviate anxiety and provide encouragement.

  • Objectives at the beginning of each chapter serve for orientation and later review

  • Key Terms are listed for each chapter

  • Clues to the Future alert students to concepts that come up again

  • Error Detection boxes tell ways to detect mistakes or prevent them

  • Transition Passages alert students to a change in focus in chapters that follow

  • Comprehensive Problems encompass all (or most) of the techniques in a chapter

  • What Would You Recommend? exercises require choices among techniques from several chapters

  • Additional practice problems in arithmetic, algebra, and complex operations are in Free Materials on this site.

Changes from the previous edition of Exploring Statistics: Tales of Distributions

  • Additional attention to criticism of null hypothesis significance testing (NHST)

  • Reorganized Chapter 9, moving effect size index to the beginning of the chapter

  • Reorganized Chapter 10, moving effect size index and confidence intervals to the beginning of the chapter

  • Appendix A, Arithmetic and Algebra Review completely revised and retitled, Getting Started.

  • Added a free Test Planning Exercise to this site

  • Added new problems that illustrate contemporary research; eliminated some problems

  • Updated all problems and examples that use contemporary data

  • Revised categorization of variables to distinguish discrete variables

  • Eliminated the algebraic explanation of a straight line

  • Many words, sentences, paragraphs, and examples revised to improve clarity and reflect current practice

  • Practice problems in arithmetic, algebra, and complex operations added to Appendix A.

  • Online interactive student Study Guide made available.


Exploring Statistics: Tales of Distributions
(12th edition)

Brief Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Exploring Data: Frequency Distributions and Graphs
  3. Exploring Data: Central Tendency
  4. Exploring Data: Variability
  5. Other Descriptive Statistics
  6. Correlation and Regression
  7. Theoretical Distributions Including the Normal Distribution
  8. Samples, Sampling Distributions, and Confidence Intervals
  9. Effect Size and NHST: One-Sample Designs
  10. Effect Size, Confidence Intervals, and NHST: Two-Sample Designs
  11. Analysis of Variance: Independent Samples
  12. Analysis of Variance: Repeated Measures
  13. Analysis of Variance: Factorial Design
  14. Chi Square Tests
  15. More Nonparametric Tests
  16. Choosing Tests and Writing Interpretations


  1. Getting Started
  2. Grouped Frequency Distributions and Central Tendency
  3. Tables
  4. Glossary of Words
  5. Glossary of Symbols
  6. Glossary of Formulas
  7. Answers to Problems



Review Expanded Table of Contents

Auxiliary Materials that accompany Exploring Statistics: Tales of Distributions (12th edition)

Test Bank - The Test Bank for Exploring Statistics: Tales of Distributions (12th edition) is a 2500-item Word document written by the author. It can be requested by adopters.

Study Guide - An online interactive Study Guide accompanies Exploring Statistics: Tales of Distributions (12th edition). Students can purchase 6 months of access to the Online Study Guidefor only $12.

Student test-planning exercise - A web-based exercise is available under Free Materials. Students can use this free exercise to identify resources that are available for an upcoming test.

History of Statistical Practice- A Selected History of Statistical Practice by Chris Spatz is available on this site under Free Materials. This chapter is from a Society for Teaching Psychology publication edited by W. D. Woody, R. L. Miller & W. J. Wozniak titled Psychological specialties in historical context: Enriching the classroom experience for teachers and students. https://teachpsych.org/ebooks/psychspec

Free Materials – The "Free Materials" page on this site includes:

Coming Soon!

The 13th Edition of Exploring Statistics is expected in Spring 2024. The new edition of this great book will still be the same clear, understandable, narrative-style text at an affordable price, but updated to keep up with an ever-changing field. Dr. Spatz has added three new co-authors for this upcoming edition who will add their voices and 49 years of undergraduate statistics teaching experience to the new edition. Dr. Marc Sestir, from the University of Central Arkansas, and Dr. Lindsay Kennedy and Dr. Jennifer Peszka, from Hendrix College, are looking forward to joining Chris to help students begin Exploring Statistics!


Exploring Statistics: Tales of Distributions

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