How juries are fooled by statistics (video)

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In this TED talk, Oxford mathematician Peter Donnelly describes the common mistakes humans make in interpreting statistics along with the impact these errors have on the outcome of criminal trials.

ted talk stats

It’s a great video to show during intro stats courses and to get students thinking about what statistics is all about. For classes it’s better to pause and ask them questions like:

  • Which sequence of head and tails will take longer to see: HTT or HTH?
  • If a test is 99% accurate for indicating if you have a disease and you test positive, what is the probability that you have the disease?