New PDF release: Willful Ignorance: The Mismeasure of Uncertainty

By Herbert I. Weisberg

ISBN-10: 0470890444

ISBN-13: 9780470890448

An unique account of willful lack of understanding and the way this precept pertains to sleek likelihood and statistical methods

Through a sequence of colourful tales approximately nice thinkers and the issues they selected to resolve, the writer strains the historic evolution of likelihood and explains how statistical equipment have helped to propel clinical examine. although, the prior luck of facts has relied on huge, planned simplifications amounting to willful lack of knowledge, and this very good fortune now threatens destiny advances in medication, the social sciences, and different fields. barriers of present tools lead to common reversals of medical findings and proposals, to the consternation of either scientists and the lay public.

Willful lack of knowledge: The Mismeasure of Uncertainty exposes the fallacy of relating to chance because the complete degree of our uncertainty. The ebook explains how statistical technique, notwithstanding drastically efficient and influential over the last century, is forthcoming a difficulty. The deep and troubling divide among qualitative and quantitative modes of analysis, and among study and perform, are reflections of this underlying challenge. the writer outlines a course towards the re-engineering of information research to aid shut those gaps and speed up clinical discovery.

Willful lack of awareness: The Mismeasure of Uncertainty offers crucial info and novel rules that are meant to be of curiosity to someone excited about the way forward for clinical study. The publication is principally pertinent for execs in statistics and similar fields, together with practising and examine clinicians, biomedical and social technological know-how researchers, enterprise leaders, and policy-makers.

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Additional resources for Willful Ignorance: The Mismeasure of Uncertainty

Sample text

Now, suppose that, on the contrary, I am not certain that I can pass this course. Clearly, this implies that I am lacking in certainty, but what does this mean? I would submit that uncertainty has two quite different connotations, or aspects. On one hand, my uncertainty can arise from doubt. So, the opposite of being sure of passing the course is being extremely doubtful. On the other hand, being uncertain could also mean that I just do not know whether I will be able to pass the course. I may suffer from confusion, because the situation facing me seems ambiguous.

Suddenly, around the year 1890, that all began to change. Like 1654, that year marked a major conceptual breakthrough (this time in the environs of London instead of Paris) and also the birth of the person who would build upon it to create an entirely new conceptual framework for statistics. Actually, the genesis of this breakthrough had been percolating quietly for about 20 years, through the efforts of a remarkable English gent by the name of Francis Galton (1822–1911). By 1890, Galton had fully developed his major statistical innovation.

On the other hand, the actual amount of variability he observed on every characteristic measured was fairly constant across generations. How was this stability possible in a “smart get smarter” world? Galton eventually discovered that this apparent steady state was being maintained by a tendency for the sons of extremely accomplished fathers to “regress” partially toward the overall population mean (average). For example, the son of a genius such as Galton’s cousin Charles Darwin, would also tend to be gifted, but “on average” less so than his father.

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Willful Ignorance: The Mismeasure of Uncertainty by Herbert I. Weisberg


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