It's hard to decide which treatment to choose when trying to quit smoking or lose weight. The term 'number needed to treat' could help you decide what is most likely to work.
Psychological phenomena like confirmation bias and the Dunning-Kruger effect make it easy for people to fall for deliberate or inadvertent lies in the news.
Number crunching the winning race time for marathon athletes can tell us when the men are likely to break the two-hour barrier. But what about a target barrier for women marathon runners?
Numbers alone don't relay the importance of people seeing their own experiences and lives mirrored in popular culture.
In January, measles returned to the Pacific Northwest, while Ebola resurged in the Congo. It would take a lot more research for scientists to be able to stop threats like these in their tracks.
Numbers are largely viewed as holding the truth. But this is an unrealistic expectation.
It's cheaper to prevent biological invasions than to react after they happen. But it's hard to detect invaders while there are still just a few of them. Knowing when and where to look can help.
Less than 10 percent of plastic waste has been recycled – a factoid recently crowned statistic of the year.
Their analysis finds that the costs exceed the benefits by over $170 billion – but it includes four major errors in the calculations.
How useful is the information you get from the measure of any thing? That depends on what you chose measure in the first place, and that's not always clear.
Science is in a reproducibility crisis. This is driven in part by invalid statistical analyses that happen long after the data are collected – the opposite of how things are traditionally done.
A new statistical test lets researchers search for similarities between groups. Could this help keep new important findings out of the file drawer?
Police practices like stop and frisk are often criticized as racial profiling. But it can be tricky to figure out from the data which officers are the worst offenders.
What do stats really mean in the real world? Here's an example from leukaemia research to help you identify if a result really is important.
Shrewd media consumers think about these three statistical pitfalls that can be the difference between a world-changing announcement and misleading hype.
McDonald's Canada has brought back its popular Monopoly game. A statistician explains the odds of winning the top prizes and how that compares to the odds we confront in everyday life.
A new machine-learning algorithm does more with less.
The odds favor a big year for Democrats, but the extent of their gains is still in doubt.
Lotteries purportedly generate money to support public education. Jackpots are getting bigger and bigger – but states don't seem to be spending any more on education.
When political polls are aggregated together, that can make the results misleading.