Thinking Statistically Paperback – 26 Feb 2013
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"This book I've just got off Amazon"
"What's it about?"
"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!
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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It covers the stuff outside the hard core statistical algebra so is great supplemental reading to detailed courses or...Read more