The Data Game: Controversies in Social Science Statistics, 4th Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Data Game

Controversies in Social Science Statistics, 4th Edition

By Mark Maier, Jennifer Imazeki


309 pages

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This book introduces students to the collection, uses, and interpretation of statistical data in the social sciences. It would suit all social science introductory statistics and research methods courses. Separate chapters are devoted to data in the fields of demography, housing, health, education, crime, the economy, wealth, income, poverty, labor, business statistics, and public opinion polling, with a concluding chapter devoted to the common problem of ambiguity. Each chapter includes multiple case studies illustrating the controversies, overview of data sources including web sites, chapter summary and a set of case study questions designed to stimulate further thought.


"Even in social science, the facts don't always speak for themselves. They have to be examined, analyzed and interpreted, so that researchers and consumers of research can make sense of them. The Data Game provides a roadmap about how social scientists use data. It offers a wealth of examples that show how researchers can arrive at different conclusions based on what data they use and how they analyze it. The book is an important resource for anyone teaching those data literacy skills." -- Peter Dreier, E.P. Clapp Distinguished Professor of Politics, Chair, Urban & Environmental Policy Department Occidental College

"In very readable fashion, this book introduces readers to the nature of, sources of, problems with, and controversies surrounding data used in a variety of social science topics. The profession owes Mark Maier a vote of thanks for having produced a book that will enhance our teaching, improve our research, prod our conscience, and entertain us." -- Peter Kennedy, Simon Fraser University (review of third edition in Journal of Economic Education)

"Intended as a supplement to college and university courses in statistics and social sciences, this readable book provides an interesting and well-referenced discussion of the uses (and abuses) of statistics in controversial social issues, including crime, education, economy, wealth, and public opinion polls. With an index, summaries, and case studies in each chapter, this book is a useful addition to popular statistics books." -- Skeptical Inquirer

"The real strength of the book is the care that Maier and Imazeki give in their treatment of the controversies surrounding interpretations of data and the possibilities for why extremely different interpretations of the same set of data exist. … The latest edition of The Data Game is an excellent supplement to statistics and data analysis texts, but it additionally stands on its own for inclusion in courses on research methods. The book works for budding researchers and for practitioners whose interactions with data may be primarily as consumers of research." -- Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. Demography 3. Housing 4. Health 5. Education 6. Crime 7. The National Economy 8. Wealth, Income, and Poverty 9. Labor Statistics 10. Business Statistics 11. Government 12. Public Opinion Polling 13. Conclusions

About the Authors

Mark Maier, Department of Economics, Glendale Community College, USA.

Jennifer Imazeki, Department of Economics, San Diego State University, USA.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economics / General