Calculated Risks
  • Release Date : 10 November 2015
  • Publisher : Simon and Schuster
  • Genre : Social Science
  • Pages : 288 pages
  • ISBN 13 : 9781439127094
Ratings: 3
From 3 Voters
Get This Book

Download or read book entitled Calculated Risks by author: Gerd Gigerenzer which was release on 10 November 2015 and published by Simon and Schuster with total page 288 pages . This book available in PDF, EPUB and Kindle Format. At the beginning of the twentieth century, H. G. Wells predicted that statistical thinking would be as necessary for citizenship in a technological world as the ability to read and write. But in the twenty-first century, we are often overwhelmed by a baffling array of percentages and probabilities as we try to navigate in a world dominated by statistics. Cognitive scientist Gerd Gigerenzer says that because we haven't learned statistical thinking, we don't understand risk and uncertainty. In order to assess risk -- everything from the risk of an automobile accident to the certainty or uncertainty of some common medical screening tests -- we need a basic understanding of statistics. Astonishingly, doctors and lawyers don't understand risk any better than anyone else. Gigerenzer reports a study in which doctors were told the results of breast cancer screenings and then were asked to explain the risks of contracting breast cancer to a woman who received a positive result from a screening. The actual risk was small because the test gives many false positives. But nearly every physician in the study overstated the risk. Yet many people will have to make important health decisions based on such information and the interpretation of that information by their doctors. Gigerenzer explains that a major obstacle to our understanding of numbers is that we live with an illusion of certainty. Many of us believe that HIV tests, DNA fingerprinting, and the growing number of genetic tests are absolutely certain. But even DNA evidence can produce spurious matches. We cling to our illusion of certainty because the medical industry, insurance companies, investment advisers, and election campaigns have become purveyors of certainty, marketing it like a commodity. To avoid confusion, says Gigerenzer, we should rely on more understandable representations of risk, such as absolute risks. For example, it is said that a mammography screening reduces the risk of breast cancer by 25 percent. But in absolute risks, that means that out of every 1,000 women who do not participate in screening, 4 will die; while out of 1,000 women who do, 3 will die. A 25 percent risk reduction sounds much more significant than a benefit that 1 out of 1,000 women will reap. This eye-opening book explains how we can overcome our ignorance of numbers and better understand the risks we may be taking with our money, our health, and our lives.

Calculated Risks

Calculated Risks

Author : Kenneth A. Rogers,Marvin G. Kingsley
Publisher : Routledge
Genre : Technology & Engineering
Get Book
Calculated Risk

Calculated Risk

Author : Jonna Doolittle Hoppes
Publisher : Santa Monica Press
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
Get Book
Arsenic in Drinking Water

Arsenic in Drinking Water

Author : National Research Council,Division on Earth and Life Studies,Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology,Committee on Toxicology,Subcommittee to Update the 1999 Arsenic in Drinking Water Report
Publisher : National Academies Press
Genre : Nature
Get Book