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Articles on Statistics

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Basic statistical literacy is important for communicating and understanding medical risks. Janet Ramsden

Understanding risk statistics about breast cancer screening

An article published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) today says a US charity “overstates the benefit of mammography and ignores harms altogether.” The charity’s questionable claim is that early detection…
Damned lies and statistics: the figures indicate a significant deficit of dwellings in Australia. But is the methodology sound? Capt' Gorgeous

Beware the rent-seeking organisation: don’t be dudded by housing data

One of the more interesting outcomes the 2011 Census produced was the figures concerning the housing market. The reason for this interest is how the results contrasted with the idea that Australia currently…
A small experiment won’t identify even a large effect as significant while a big experiment is likely to see even a worthless effect as statistically significant. 8 Eyes Photography Flickr

Mind your confidence interval: how statistics skew research results

“Most patients using the new analgesia reported significantly reduced pain.” Such research findings sound exciting because the word significant suggests important and large. But researchers often use the…
It takes more than a batting average to find the world’s best batsman. Composite image: public domain/AAP Image/Tony McDonough

Is Don, is good? How Tendulkar eclipses Bradman

Who is the greatest test batsman of all time? In a follow up to a recent paper I created a media furore by suggesting that India’s Sachin Tendulkar had eclipsed Australian great Sir Donald Bradman in terms…
Does the finance industry rely too heavily on contestable economic data? AAP

The problem with our economic data addiction

People who work in business and finance are obsessed with economic data releases – GDP growth figures, unemployment rates, trade statistics, and so on. Business journalists, investors, financial analysts…

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