This book is a practical introduction to statistical techniques called nonpara- metric methods. Using examples, we explain assumptions and demonstrate procedures; theory is kept to a minimum. We show how basic problems are tackled and try to clear up common misapprehensions so as to help both students of statistics meeting the methods for the first time and workers in other fields faced with data needing simple but informative analysis. An analogy between experimenters and car drivers describes our aim. Statistical analyses may be done by following a set of rules without understanding their logical basis, but this has dangers. It is like driving a car with no inkling ofhow the internal combustion engine, the gears, the ignition system, the brakes actually work. Understanding the rudiments helps one get better performance and makesdrivingsafer;appropriate gearchanges become a way to reduce engine stress, prolong engine life, improve fuel economy, minimize wear on brake linings. Knowing how to change the engine oil or replace worn sparking plugs is notessential for adriver, but it will reduce costs.
Learning such basics will not make one a fully fledged mechanic, even less an automotive engineer; but it all contributes to more economical and safer driving, alertingone to the dangers ofbald tyres, aleakingexhaust, worn brake linings.