1. Sources of Error

  1. Phillip I. Good1 and
  2. James W. Hardin2

Published Online: 8 AUG 2003

DOI: 10.1002/0471463760.ch1

Common Errors in Statistics (and How to Avoid Them)

Common Errors in Statistics (and How to Avoid Them)

How to Cite

Good, P. I. and Hardin, J. W. (2003) Sources of Error, in Common Errors in Statistics (and How to Avoid Them), John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, USA. doi: 10.1002/0471463760.ch1

Author Information

  1. 1

    Huntington Beach, CA, USA

  2. 2

    College Station, TX, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 8 AUG 2003
  2. Published Print: 11 JUL 2003

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780471460688

Online ISBN: 9780471463764



  • errors;
  • sources;
  • prescription;
  • fundamental concepts;
  • ad hoc hypotheses;
  • post hoc hypotheses


Statistical procedures for hypothesis testing, estimation, and model building are only a part of the decision-making process. They should never be quoted as the sole basis for making a decision. In this chapter we present and discuss the numerous sources of error in applying statistical procedures. We offer a preventive prescription, followed by a list of common errors. If these prescriptions are followed carefully, the reader will be guided to the correct, proper and effective use of statistics, avoiding the pitfalls.