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Weighing the Evidence

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Author:Keith Devlin (Devlin's Angle)
Description: Hundreds of thousands of years of evolution have equipped us with many useful mental abilities - our instinct to avoid many dangerous situations and our use of language are two obvious examples. However, evolution has not equipped us to handle statistical or probabilistic data - a very recent component of our lives. Where quantitative data are concerned, if we want to reach wise decisions, it is often safer to rely on mathematics. When we do so, we sometimes find that our intuitions are wildly misleading.

Levels: Middle School (6-8), High School (9-12), College
Languages: English
Resource Types: Articles
Math Topics: Probability, Statistics, Psychology

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