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Statistics in a Nutshell, 2nd Edition by Sarah Boslaugh

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Appendix D. Probability Tables for Common Distributions

Probability tables for different distributions are available in many reference books and online; the tables in this section are included for your convenience and include solved examples from the main text. One caution: there is more than one way to display the probability values for any distribution, so it is always wise to spend a few minutes observing how a given table is constructed before you start to use it.

Probability tables are partly a vestige of an era before statistical calculators and software packages were readily available, but they serve a useful purpose even in our electronic age. To use a probability table correctly, you have to think about the distribution in question and how it applies to your research question, so a few minutes working with a probability table is worthwhile even if you expect to do most or all of your statistical calculations with a computer software package.

The tables included in this chapter, except those for the binomial distribution, are taken from the NIST/SEMATECH e-Handbook of Statistical Methods, a public domain resource available online from the National Institute of Standards and Technology in the United States. The binomial distribution tables, also in the public domain, were created by William Knight, a former professor of computer science and mathematics at the University of New Brunswick.

Note that for continuous distributions such as the normal distribution, we always speak ...

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