Tuesday, 8 March 2011

How to avoid the doom and gloom of statistical thinking (Part 2 of 5)

When it comes to determining the direction of your life, never trust other people's calculations without subjecting them to rational examination. No matter what results from a survey, its conclusions can never be as reliable as your own perception of the world. No matter how sophisticated a mathematical model may be, it will never match the accuracy of your direct inspection of the facts.

The following list presents six sensitive areas where you should be particularly attentive to check the logic of any recommendation that is presented to you.

[1] In general, you should not expect someone else to solve your problems. Statistics proving otherwise should be subject to close scrutiny, since they seem to contradict a fundamental aspect of human nature.

We all love to help family and friends, but should we believe any survey that promises uncertain help from indeterminate strangers? Check things twice before you act on such conclusions.

To be continued in the next post.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by holga_new_orleans under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]