statistics, nonparametric statistics, humanities, behavioral sciences, medieval studies, humor studies


Sydney Siegel and N. John Castellan, Jr. Nonparametric Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences, Second Edition (New York NY: McGraw Hill, 1988). 399 pp. ISBN: 9780070573574.

Almost 60 years ago, Sidney Siegel wrote a stellar book helping anyone in academe to use nonparametric statistics, but ironically, 60 years after that achievement, American higher education confesses itself to be in the worst Quantitative Teaching Crisis of all time. The key clue to solving that crisis may be in Siegel and Castellan’s title, Nonparametric Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences, which quietly and perhaps unconsciously excludes the Humanities.

Yet it is in humanistic realities that students read, write, and think. This book review considers what could be done if the Humanities were made aware of the enormous power of nonparametric statistics for advancing both their disciplines and their students’ ability to think quantitatively. A potentially revolutionary, humanistic, nonparametric finding is considered in detail along with a brief account of tens of humanistic discoveries deriving from Siegel and Castellan’s impetus.



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