What the Luck?

What the Luck?

The Surprising Role of Chance in Our Everyday Lives

Book - 2016
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WW Norton
The newest book by the acclaimed author of Standard Deviations takes on luck, and all the mischief the idea of luck can cause in our lives.
In Israel, pilot trainees who were praised for doing well subsequently performed worse, while trainees who were yelled at for doing poorly performed better. It is an empirical fact that highly intelligent women tend to marry men who are less intelligent. Students who get the highest scores in third grade generally get lower scores in fourth grade.And yet, it's wrong to conclude that screaming is not more effective in pilot training, women choose men whose intelligence does not intimidate them, or schools are failing third graders. In fact, there's one reason for each of these empirical facts: Statistics. Specifically, a statical concept called Regression to the Mean.Regression to the mean seeks to explain, with statistics, the role of luck in our day to day lives. An insufficient appreciation of luck and chance can wreak all kinds of mischief in sports, education, medicine, business, politics, and more. It can lead us to see illness when we are not sick and to see cures when treatments are worthless. Perfectly natural random variation can lead us to attach meaning to the meaningless.Freakonomics showed how economic calculations can explain seemingly counterintuitive decision-making. Thinking, Fast and Slow, helped readers identify a host of small cognitive errors that can lead to miscalculations and irrational thought. In What the Luck?, statistician and author Gary Smith sets himself a similar goal, and explains--in clear, understandable, and witty prose--how a statistical understanding of luck can change the way we see just about every aspect of our lives...and can help us learn to rely less on random chance, and more on truth.

Baker & Taylor
Explores the role of luck, specifically the concept of "regression to the mean," in everyday life, exploring how failures to understand chance and random variations influence choices and perceptions of truth.

& Taylor

The economics professor author of Standard Deviations explores the role of luck, specifically the "Regression to the Mean" concept, in everyday life, exploring how failures to understand chance and random variations influence choices and perceptions of truth.

Publisher: New York : The Overlook Press, c2016
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781468313758
Branch Call Number: 519.2 SMI
Characteristics: 289 p. :,ill. ;,24 cm.


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Nov 23, 2016

An enjoyable read. The examples illustrate the points very well from several fields of human endeavour.
The average person can easily understand and enjoy "What the luck?"
The role that chance plays in everyday and major events are clearly argued. The combination of small insignificant events when put together have major consequences. For example, this often holds true in baseball as every baseball fan knows.
Seelochan Beharry
The Prehistories of Baseball

Oct 30, 2016

An excellent book on the statistical master subject of // regression to the mean \\ might even interest sports fans as multiple examples of this type are used. Mentions invalid research protocols, the example of Elizabeth Targ's study [whose father was the brother-in-law of chess champion, Bobby Fisher, an example of a genius who had either autistim or asberger's, and it showed in some of his opinions and beliefs - - espoused anti-Semitism later in life, even though he was Jewish [although legally Jewish only on his mother's side - - during WWII, his mother and her first husband reached an agreement that she could state he was the father, since the war interfered with life's usual errands, but his birth father was a Hungarian-Jewish professor of physics at the University of Colorado and Bobby was the spitting image of him].

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