DANIEL LEVITIN ~ A FIELD GUIDE TO LIES ~ 2016

~ U-MPHTTCANBTIBT ~ Unfortunately – Many People Have Trouble Thinking Clearly About Numbers Because They’re Intimidated By Them

~ TCROA-PC-IT-TPHTAUT100 ~ The Cardinal Rule Of A – Pie Chart – Is That – The Percentages Have To Add Up To 100

~ TMFWTLWASGITNLTA ~ The Most Fundamental Way To Lie With A Statistical Graph Is To Not Label The Axes

~ I-AOUB-LW-T-SPO-A-TROTFTMPWSWTDTC ~ Infographics – Are Often Used By – Lying Weasels – To – Shape Public Opinion – And – They Rely On The Fact That Most People Won’t Study What They’ve Done Too Carefully

~ STSBRITRO ~ Sometimes The Statistic Being Reported Isn’t The Relevant One

~ CATO-OWTLWSITCT-D/P/TOP-TADFOA-A-PTTN ~ Comparing Apples To Oranges – One Way To Lie With Statistics Is To Compare Things – Datasets / Populations / Types Of Products – That Are Different From One Another – And – Pretend That They’re Not

~ JBTANOI-DMTTNWAAP-R-P-GS-P-CWTC-HTGAC-TAAHOEABTCEITCP-A-CL-T-TWC ~ Just Because There’s A Number On It – Doesn’t Mean That The Number Was Arrived At Properly – Remember – People – Gather Statistics – People – Choose What To Count – How To Go About Counting – There Are A Host Of Errors And Biases That Can Enter Into The Collection Process – And – Can Lead – To – The Wrong Conclusions

~ TBAG-AS-HTBR ~ To Be Any Good – A Sample – Has To Be Representative

~ R-HTATTT-CVTAETIOCDO-STTTMANOOADTM ~ Researchers – Have To Avoid The Tendency To – Capture Variables That Are Easy To Identify Or Collect Data On – Sometimes The Things That Matter Are Not Obvious Or Are Difficult To Measure

~ PSLWATO ~ People Sometimes Lie When Asked Their Opinions

~ MMBS-TMB-C-R-A-P-P-F-CD-STEPWCIDIITSW-EPWICHTCITSW ~ Measurements Must Be Standardized – There Must Be – Clear – Replacable – And – Precise – Procedures – For – Collecting Data – So That Each Person Who Collects It Does It In The Same Way – Each Person Who Is Counting Has To Count In The Same Way

~ ME-OIEM ~ Measurement Error – Occurs In Every Measurement

~ HSIDOCCMABDITSYEUW ~ How Something Is Defined Or Categorized Can Make A Big Difference In The Statistic You End Up With

~ ADCBWATTAAIP-OPBAAQUS ~ A Definition Can Be Wrangled And Twisted To Anyone’s Advantage In Public-Opinion Polling By Asking A Question Just-So

~ IASICO-ASOPDM-G-M-O-M-O-FE-TRCWBF ~ If A Statistic Is Composed Of – A Series Of Poorly Defined Measures – Guesses – Misunderstandings – Oversimplifications – Mismeasurement – Or – Flawed Estimates – The Resulting Conclusion Will Be Flawed

~ W-HATTACTOTTWDW ~ We – Have A Tendency To Apply Critical Thinking Only To Things We Disagree With

~ WAAST-S-A-ASS-ESBTOOO ~ We Are A Story-Telling Species – And – A Social Species – Easily Swayed By The Opinions Of Others

~ THBOMUIMBO-EC-AT-STJT-A-TBIAVOS-JM ~ The Human Brain Often Makes Up Its Mind Based On – Emotional Considerations – And Then – Seeks To Justify Them – And – The Brain Is A Very Powerful Self-Justifying Machine

~ ETSOUCBF ~ Even The Smartest Of Us Can Be Fooled

~ MAIAE-BCAWIT ~ Make An Informed And Evidence-Based Choice About What Is True

~ WUDWTSEO-HDWIT? ~ We Usually Do Well To Seek Expert Opinions – How Do We Identify Them?

~ IE ~ Identifying Expertise

! SH-S-INTEANW-IJT-S-TMLTBR ~ Stuff Happens – So – It’s Not That Experts Are Never Wrong – It’s Just That – Statically – They’re More Likely To Be Right

~ EITN ~ Expertise Is Typically Narrow

~ B-IAE-TTB-DS-CTTPBTIIA-S-UQ ~ But – Intelligence And Experience – Tend To Be – Domain-Specific – Contrary To The Popular Belief That Intelligence Is A – Single – Unified Quantity

~ WIBI? ~ Who Is Behind It?

~ CTWBOUANMTDY? ~ Could The Website Be Operating Under A Name Meant To Deceive You?

~ WLTTWP? ~ Who Links To The Web Page?

~ P-RJ ~ Peer-Reviewed Journals

~ RA ~ Regulated Authority

~ SI ~ Supporting Information

~ B-IYLOF-SE-Y-NDPR-BY-ITCE-TMB-AL-OT-O-AL-B-YDK-B-YHL-‘C-P’-TDTSYH ~ But – If You’re Looking Only For – Supporting Evidence – You’re – Not Doing Proper Research – Because Your – Ignoring The Contradictory Evidence – There Might Be – A Little – Of This – Or – A Lot – But – You Don’t Know – Because – You Haven’t Looked – “Cherry-Picking” – The Data That Suit Your Hypothesis

~ SS-AUNR-LS-MARTSOTW-S-CT-TLOLN ~ Small Samples – Are Usually Not Representative – Larger Samples – More Accurately Reflect The State Of The World – Statisticians – Call This – The Law Of Large Numbers

~ B-WIEAYIAWSTI-W-W-TENCTEIW-P? ~ But – What If Everyone Around You Is Agreeing With Something That Is – Well – Wrong – The Exquisite New Clothes The Emperor Is Wearing – Perhaps?

~ C-MPTLLF-A-T-SCMOPHBTB ~ Counterknowledge – Misinformation Packaged To Look Like Fact – And – That – Some Critical Mass Of People Have Begun To Believe

~ IITAT-ICE-NEIE-B-NEWOOR ~ It’s Important To Accept That – In Complex Events – Not Everything Is Explainable – Because – Not Everything Was Observed Or Reported

~ AHOUADNDOUAW-ETTIBOTOPOE-Y-TAATATHOACT ~ A Handful Of Unexplained Anomalies Does Not Discredit Or Undermine A Well-Established Theory That Is Based On Thousands Of Pieces Of Evidence – Yet – These Anomalies Are Typically At The Heart Of All Conspiratorial Thinking

~ TPO-A-IN-D;TI-ABOSOCODNMS ~ The Plural Of – Anecdote – Is Not – Data; That Is – A Bunch Of Stories Or Casual Observations Do Not Make Science

~ MORCLUTIODEWCUTPO ~ Misunderstandings Of Risk Can Lead Us To Ignore Or Discount Evidence We Could Use To Protect Ourselves

~ PBA ~ Persuasion By Association

~ OIHB-TOETMRT-CFT ~ Our Imperfect Human Brains – Those Of Even The Most Rigorous Thinkers – Can Fool Themselves

~ IC-TBIAGPD-A-ISTEOASFWOATBRC ~ Illusory Correlation – The Brain Is A Giant Pattern Detector – And – It Seeks To Extract Order And Structure From What Often Appear To Be Random Configurations

~ FOP ~ Framing Of Probabilities

~ FR ~ Framing Risk

~ SWAPC ~ Start With A Plausibility Check

~ AOFOHCIT-OWFABOAAC-IVHFUTLG-EITFOO-WEASPTTC ~ An Odd Feature Of Human Cognition Is That – Once We Form A Belief Or Accept A Claim – It’s Very Hard For Us To Let Go – Even In The Face Of Over-Whelming Evidence And Scientific Proof To The Contrary

~ PH-EPH-‘B-THAT-TMHCT’ ~ Post Hoc – Ergo Propter Hoc – “Because – This Happened After That – That Must Have Caused This”

~ KWYDK ~ Knowing What You Don’t Know

~ WWRHY-A-CUAODAI-ATTYTYKBD ~ What Will Really Hurt You – And – Cause Untold Amounts Of Damage And Inconvenience – Are The Things You Think You Know But Don’t

~ ECLAT ~ Every Contact Leaves A Trace

~ AECOCTIKWWDK ~ An Essential Component Of Critical Thinking Is Knowing What We Don’t Know

~ A-A-SB-HEPDATW ~ An – Anti-Science Bias – Has Entered Public Discourse And The Web

~ W-NCA-CWTROMARWAOMFO-TRFVCFOEOU ~ With – No Central Authority – Charged With The Responsibility Of Monitoring And Regulating Websites And Other Material Found Online – The Responsibility For Verifying Claims Falls On Each Of Us

~ CT-INSYDOWAIATDI-IAAAOP ~ Critical Thinking – Is Not Something You Do Once With An Issue And Then Drop It – It’s An Active And Ongoing Process

~ WFBOKAMNOTWCTALNOTTMNBS ~ We’re Far Better Off Knowing A Moderate Number Of Things With Certainty Than A Large Number Of Things That Might Not Be So

~ TKSOL-HUTMCTIOHAST ~ True Knowledge Simplifies Our Lives – Helping Us To Make Choices That Increase Our Happiness And Save Time

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