Paradoxes of probability and other statistical strangeness

The Logical Place

The Conversation

Image 20170329 14155 f440dl
Statistics and probability can sometimes yield mind bending results. Shutterstock

Stephen Woodcock, University of Technology Sydney

Statistics is a useful tool for understanding the patterns in the world around us. But our intuition often lets us down when it comes to interpreting those patterns. In this series we look at some of the common mistakes we make and how to avoid them when thinking about statistics, probability and risk.The Conversation


You don’t have to wait long to see a headline proclaiming that some food or behaviour is associated with either an increased or a decreased health risk, or often both. How can it be that seemingly rigorous scientific studies can produce opposite conclusions?

Nowadays, researchers can access a wealth of software packages that can readily analyse data and output the results of complex statistical tests. While these are powerful resources, they also open the door to people without…

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