Standard Deviations by Gary Smith audiobook

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

By Gary Smith
Read by Timothy Andrés Pabon

Gildan Media, Gildan Audio 9781468311020
9.32 Hours Unabridged
Format: Digital Download (In Stock)
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Did you know that baseball players whose names begin with the letter “D” are more likely to die young? Or that Asian Americans are most susceptible to heart attacks on the fourth day of the month? Or that drinking a full pot of coffee every morning will add years to your life, but one cup a day increases the risk of pancreatic cancer? All of these “facts” have been argued with a straight face by credentialed researchers and backed up with reams of data and convincing statistics. As Nobel Prize–winning economist Ronald Coase once cynically observed, “If you torture data long enough, it will confess.” Lying with statistics is a time-honored con. In Standard Deviations, economics professor Gary Smith walks us through the various tricks and traps that people use to back up their own crackpot theories. Sometimes, the unscrupulous deliberately try to mislead us. Other times, the well-intentioned are blissfully unaware of the mischief they are committing. Today, data is so plentiful that researchers spend precious little time distinguishing between good, meaningful indicators and total rubbish. Not only do others use data to fool us, we fool ourselves.

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Summary

Summary

Did you know that baseball players whose names begin with the letter “D” are more likely to die young? Or that Asian Americans are most susceptible to heart attacks on the fourth day of the month? Or that drinking a full pot of coffee every morning will add years to your life, but one cup a day increases the risk of pancreatic cancer? All of these “facts” have been argued with a straight face by credentialed researchers and backed up with reams of data and convincing statistics.

As Nobel Prize–winning economist Ronald Coase once cynically observed, “If you torture data long enough, it will confess.” Lying with statistics is a time-honored con. In Standard Deviations, economics professor Gary Smith walks us through the various tricks and traps that people use to back up their own crackpot theories. Sometimes, the unscrupulous deliberately try to mislead us. Other times, the well-intentioned are blissfully unaware of the mischief they are committing. Today, data is so plentiful that researchers spend precious little time distinguishing between good, meaningful indicators and total rubbish. Not only do others use data to fool us, we fool ourselves.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“An approachable and effective means to arm oneself against the onslaught statistical hyperbole in our modern age.” Bryan White, Managing Director, BlackRock, Inc.
“I know of no other book that explains important concepts such as selection bias in such an entertaining and memorable manner.” Richard J. Murnane, Thompson Professor of Education and Society, Harvard Graduate School of Education
“How not to be deceived by lies masquerading as statistics…This should be required reading for everyone living in this age of (too much?) information.” Arthur Benjamin, professor of mathematics and bestselling author of Secrets of Mental Math
“A very entertaining book about a very serious problem. We deceive ourselves all the time with statistics, and it is time we wised up.” Robert J. Shiller, winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Gary Smith

Author Bio: Gary Smith

Gary Smith is the Fletcher Jones Professor of Economics at Pomona College in Claremont, California. He received his doctorate in economics from Yale University and taught there as assistant professor for seven years. Smith has won two teaching awards and has authored more than seventy academic papers, nine textbooks, and seven educational software programs.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/Social Science
Runtime: 9.32
Audience: Adult
Language: English