Calculated Risks: How to Know When Numbers Deceive You
  • Calculated Risks: How to Know When Numbers Deceive You
  • Calculated Risks: How to Know When Numbers Deceive You
  • Calculated Risks: How to Know When Numbers Deceive You
ISBN: 0743254236
EAN13: 9780743254236
Language: English
Release Date: Mar 19, 2003
Pages: 320
Dimensions: 0.8" H x 9" L x 6" W
Weight: 1.21 lbs.
Format: Paperback
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Book Overview

At the beginning of the twentieth century, H. G. Wells predicted that statistical thinking would be as necessary for citizenship in a technological world as the ability to read and write. But in the twenty-first century, we are often overwhelmed by a baffling array of percentages and probabilities as we try to navigate in a world dominated by statistics.

Cognitive scientist Gerd Gigerenzer says that because we haven't learned statistical thinking, we don't understand risk and uncertainty. In order to assess risk -- everything from the risk of an automobile accident to the certainty or uncertainty of some common medical screening tests -- we need a basic understanding of statistics.

Astonishingly, doctors and lawyers don't understand risk any better than anyone else. Gigerenzer reports a study in which doctors were told the results of breast cancer screenings and then were asked to explain the risks of contracting breast cancer to a woman who received a positive result from a screening. The actual risk was small because the test gives many false positives. But nearly every physician in the study overstated the risk. Yet many people will have to make important health decisions based on such information and the interpretation of that information by their doctors.

Gigerenzer explains that a major obstacle to our understanding of numbers is that we live with an Read More chevron_right

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