AUG 9, 2011 9:14am ET

Related Links

Microsoft CEO Nadella Unveils Data-Analysis Tools for Companies
April 17, 2014
Gartner: CEOs Focus on Tech-Related Business Growth in 2014
April 17, 2014
Analytics: Needing to Know or Wanting to Know?
April 9, 2014

Web Seminars

Looking for speed and accuracy in your financial planning and budgeting?
Available On Demand

Thinking Statistical Bias


Two Septembers ago, families of students at our suburban Chicago high school received an email from the principal detailing school performance over the previous 12 months. His note chronicled the considerable accomplishments of individual students, student organizations and school athletics. He also made special mention of the school's large number of new semi-finalists from the National Merit Scholarship program, a whopping 50 percent increase from the previous year.

Get access to this article and thousands more...

All Information Management articles are archived after 7 days. REGISTER NOW for unlimited access to all recently archived articles, as well as thousands of searchable stories. Registered Members also gain access to:

  • Full access to including all searchable archived content
  • Exclusive E-Newsletters delivering the latest headlines to your inbox
  • Access to White Papers, Web Seminars, and Blog Discussions
  • Discounts to upcoming conferences & events
  • Uninterrupted access to all sponsored content, and MORE!

Already Registered?


Comments (3)
The odds of Death in Any Given Year from all External Causes of Mortality: 1,756 to 1

Buying a lottery ticket is not related to the odds of winning. It's based on the experience of playing to win just like going to Las Vegas. People are paying for the entertainment experience. It should be called "gamblers fantasy" not fallacy.

The probability of becoming a millionaire as a stock broker or trader is based on how much you love money, not hard work or capabilities. Using statistics to rationalize human behavior is entertaining and amusing but should always be prefaced with the note: these statistics are subject to the random, unexplained, irrational and frequently silly behavior of humans. These statistics have been compiled by humans who likewise suffer from these same fallacies.

Posted by Richard O | Wednesday, August 10 2011 at 1:30PM ET
Steve: In the Bayes disease-testing example, I think you meant to write 0.6%, not 6%.

I enjoy your writing. Thanks.

Posted by Rama R | Wednesday, August 10 2011 at 5:38PM ET
Add Your Comments:
You must be registered to post a comment.
Not Registered?
You must be registered to post a comment. Click here to register.
Already registered? Log in here
Please note you must now log in with your email address and password.

Are you actively evaluating master data management technologies and their ability to scale and support emerging trends around big data, social and mobile?

Yes 61%
No 23%
Don't Know 9%
Not Applicable 6%


Login  |  My Account  |  White Papers  |  Web Seminars  |  Events |  Newsletters |  eBooks
Please note you must now log in with your email address and password.