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4.1 out of 5 stars
Thinking Statistically
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 3 January 2013
My wife shouts from the living room - "what are you laughing at?"
"This book I've just got off Amazon"
"What's it about?"
"Statistics!"
"Are you sure?"

Basically this is the first book on stats that's made me laugh (or at least snort a few times). Of course it's not a deep scientific textbook (being only 54 pages long) - this is more in the mould of "How to Lie with Statistics". Uri Bram uses humour and a great conversational style to get across useful and important concepts in a memorable way. And I stress the "memorable" bit because I now see the need to be on guard from lazy thinking or unintentional abuse of statistics in our normal day-day lives. A super little tome!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 30 June 2012
In my estimation any book which can make statistics entertaining deserves my vote. But this one goes further. In a very short read Uri manages to explain some very important real life issues in terms of easily accessible statistical concepts. Understanding how much damage can be done by lazy statistics really opens your eyes. Everyone who feels a desire to pontificate should buy this book!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 3 November 2011
Uri Bram's first book - Thinking Statistically is a happy 2 hour read with just a nod to the dreaded equation but a big effort to entertain and make the activity of thinking sensibly, humourous and even funny. Uri uses examples to illustrate his 3 main points and tries to guide you through assessing liklihood and dare I say truth from the mis-use of statistics and the tragedy it can bring in the wrong hands. That said - is it sexy ? Probably just "cool". Dan Jacoby
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 1 January 2013
This is one of the best introductions to Bayesian statistics that I've come across. It is a short book but covers some of the most common mistakes people make in statistics using simple, easy to understand examples. I would highly recommend this book to anybody interested in learning about Bayes law.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 3 April 2013
I purchased this book as I wanted to refresh my understanding of the basics of statistics. I found the book delivered this and a bit more. It is accessible and charming (with plenty of examples and layman terms). It will help those who are interested in understanding the core elements to statistics and help you identify the simple questions you need to ask when thinking about basic stats. I would recommend to anyone who wants a basic introduction to the world of statistics and to those wanting to have a quick refresh.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 8 July 2013
This is a short (about 2 hours) but very entertaining book on some of the key aspects of practical statistics, containing the best explanation of Bayesian statistics that I have yet seen. Well worth a read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A short introduction to some key issues in statistics written accessibly for the general reader. Enjoyable and informative but the briefness leaves one feeling a little short changed.
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on 27 January 2015
With quite a few examples and simple explanations he explains fundamental concepts that should be part of everyone's common sense. The examples come from statistics, but they are more like a way of thinking more better, more critically, than doing statistics.

Answer these 3 questions to see if you should read the book:
As a boss if you mostly hear positive feedback from your employees, does that mean that your employees are generally satisfied with you?
Is it a good indicator of the overall low prices of an insurance company that people who switched to it saved £X?
A test for a rare disease detects the disease 99% of the time, and it correctly identifies the lack of it 99% of the time. If you test positive, does that mean you almost certainly have the disease? (like 99%)

If you answered yes to any of the above, then you must read this, if you can rigorously explain why the answer is no, then you probably don't.

(Unfortunately), he wanted to be a bit non-controversial, so he used a bit mundane examples rather than the ones we encounter in advertisement all the time. However he made up for that in the book recommendations.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 27 December 2012
Excellent ,if very short book. If you understand the medical problem that you have a test for an illness that's 99% accurate but the illness occurs only in 1 person in 10,000, then the probability that you have the illness if you've just been tested positive is "only" about 9% rather than what seems intuitively correct, namely 99% then you won't learn anything from this book. If not then it's worth a read.
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on 12 September 2013
This book is something of a blunt weapon. As the author states, his purpose is not to be comprehensive, but rather to lay down some groundwork for a distilled version that can be easily understood and that be used almost as heuristics regarding the concepts it expounds.

Though for more substantial reading in the same vein I would recommend Nate Silver's excellent The Signal And The Noise, this book ends up going deeper into the three topics it covers, leaving the reader quite sure and confident about the subject matter that was dealt with, but simultaneously planting the seed of desire for further knowledge.

I would have, however, enjoyed a more extensive review of Bayes' Theorem, though I do quite understand that the plethora of reading material concerning only this topic perhaps would have made a longer account, in a sense, useless, as it would lengthen the superb succinctness and still not give us as much information as other books.
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