In today’s society, we are inundated by data, but the lack of familiarity with the statistical reasoning is widespread and produces an infinite number of wrong choices. Sometimes with minor impact, sometimes with serious consequences for our health or public safety. Yet to think statistically does not require to know the statistic, but only to reason in a different way in front of the events of our everyday life.
In fact, we are often victims of conditionings and stereotyped behaviors that, far more often than we think, lead us to wrong choices.
This book talks about cognitive biases and evaluation of risks, but without using formulas or statistical models. It tries to explain that there is not a misfortune that haunts us (as those who believe in Murphy’s Law), but only a series of events with a certain probability of occurrence.
Relying on a certain type of reasoning, purified from stereotypes and automatic behaviors, can be fun. In other words, by knowing how the statistic works we can avoid many mistakes, unnecessary angers, extra charges and domestic accidents.
Sometimes with scientific rigor, sometimes joking, the book explains how it is more convenient for our health to drink a coffee with the left hand. It tells all with a story of an ordinary day, where the main character can be any of us. Getting up in the morning, have breakfast, go to work, drive a car, park it, drink a coffee at the bar, grocery shopping, enter a store, archiving documents or take a beer from the fridge. These are all situations that seemingly have nothing to do with statistics, but where the statistical reasoning is very important and in this book, the author explains how to do everything “statistically”.
The book’s purpose is also to make people smile, but you can also delve into the things said and get ideas to reflect on many other aspects of your lifestyles. Understand the most dangerous situations from a statistical point of view, can make us shift our attention to the important things of our life, in order to assess correctly the risks.
Many people are afraid of flying, yet they drive the car every day without any worries. Why does this happen, if everyone knows that the probability of dying in a car accident is much higher than that of dying in a plane crash? Because we are all victims of cognitive biases. Against the cognitive biases, the statistical reasoning is very powerful. It takes a little getting used to but with practice, you can reach good results. Think statistically and your life will be easier and safer. Apply my law in your daily life: “If anything can go wrong, there is a statistical explanation” and you will not be a victim of the Murphy’s Law.