Standard Deviations: Flawed Assumptions, Tortured Data, and Other Ways to Lie with Statistics

Standard Deviations: Flawed Assumptions, Tortured Data, and Other Ways to Lie with Statistics

Gary Smith


“A very exciting ebook a few very significant issue. We lie to ourselves forever with data, and it's time we wised up.” –Robert J. Shiller, Winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics

were you aware that baseball gamers whose names commence with the letter “D” usually tend to die younger? Or that Asian american citizens are such a lot liable to middle assaults at the fourth day of the month? Or that ingesting an entire pot of espresso each morning will upload years for your lifestyles, yet one cup an afternoon raises the danger of pancreatic melanoma? All of those “facts” were argued with a instantly face via credentialed researchers and subsidized up with reams of information and convincing statistics.

As Nobel Prize–winning economist Ronald Coase as soon as cynically saw, “If you torture facts lengthy sufficient, it's going to confess.” mendacity with data is a commonly used con. In typical Deviations, economics professor Gary Smith walks us during the a number of methods and traps that individuals use to again up their very own crackpot theories. occasionally, the unscrupulous intentionally try and deceive us. different occasions, the well-intentioned are blissfully ignorant of the mischief they're committing. this present day, facts is so abundant that researchers spend invaluable little time distinguishing among stable, significant symptoms and overall garbage. not just do others use facts to idiot us, we idiot ourselves.

With the breakout luck of Nate Silver’s The sign and the Noise, the as soon as humdrum topic of records hasn't ever been warmer. Drawing on leap forward examine in behavioral economics through luminaries like Daniel Kahneman and Dan Ariely and taking to job many of the conclusions of Freakonomics writer Steven D. Levitt, common Deviations demystifies the technological know-how in the back of statistics and makes it effortless to identify the fraud all around.

London occasions booklet of the Week (2014) 50 graphs and eight b&w illustrations

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