• Bernoulli's Fallacy

  • Statistical Illogic and the Crisis of Modern Science
  • By: Aubrey Clayton
  • Narrated by: Tim H. Dixon
  • Length: 15 hrs and 14 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (50 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

There is a logical flaw in the statistical methods used across experimental science. This fault is not a minor academic quibble: It underlies a reproducibility crisis now threatening entire disciplines. In an increasingly statistics-reliant society, this same deeply rooted error shapes decisions in medicine, law, and public policy, with profound consequences. The foundation of the problem is a misunderstanding of probability and its role in making inferences from observations.

Aubrey Clayton traces the history of how statistics went astray, beginning with the groundbreaking work of the 17th-century mathematician Jacob Bernoulli and winding through gambling, astronomy, and genetics. Clayton recounts the feuds among rival schools of statistics, exploring the surprisingly human problems that gave rise to the discipline and the all-too-human shortcomings that derailed it. He highlights how influential 19th- and 20th-century figures developed a statistical methodology they claimed was purely objective in order to silence critics of their political agendas, including eugenics.

Clayton provides a clear account of the mathematics and logic of probability, conveying complex concepts accessibly for listeners interested in the statistical methods that frame our understanding of the world. He contends that we need to take a Bayesian approach - that is, to incorporate prior knowledge when reasoning with incomplete information - in order to resolve the crisis. Ranging across math, philosophy, and culture, Bernoulli’s Fallacy explains why something has gone wrong with how we use data - and how to fix it. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.  

©2021 Aubrey Clayton (P)2021 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Bernoulli's Fallacy

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Dr. Berkeley spreads re-education for future statisticians

Written by a quack from UC, Berkleley, the academic community known best for spreading socialist idioms. Like all things from these Political Correct types, language must be changed to introduce cognitive dissonance within generations. He preaches undoing 100 years of scientific research to make it less about the facts and more about how one single person might analyze data. He is more interested in talking about his graduate studies and how he sucks at poker than he is about real science; pure garbage.

7 people found this helpful

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Rigorously Bayesian

Ignore the review from the snowflake triggered by the word Berkeley. This book is good. It sets up a sound logical argument against frequentist statistics. It give interesting historical details and explains why Bayesian methods are more robust.

6 people found this helpful

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fantastic overview of current state of things

as a new grad student (after 20 years as a professional) This was exactly what I needed to understand why so many of the studies I was reviewing sounded like they were an 8th grade book report that left things out and had ridiculous conclusions. so useful!

4 people found this helpful

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No punches pulled!

There has been some effort to make frequentist and Bayesian approaches seem compatible in the last few years. But they really aren’t compatible. Clayton gives a full explanation of why this is the case. The reader should know introductory statistics at the undergraduate level well to appreciate the arguments, but more advanced understanding beyond that is not required. Clayton is very generous in recapping basic claims in frequentist statistics before turning them upside down and demonstrating their absurdity.

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Amazing book

Great read and must have for everyone in risk management community. Yet another wake up call to the flaws in many traditional risk analysis techniques.

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Excellent and persuasive

I read the book along with listening to the Audible narration. I'm a big Edwin Jaynes fan, so this was preaching to the choir. In particular, a Presbyterian sermon from Probability Theory, driving home its themes thoroughly.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 05-08-22

Great take on the troubles with frequentism

Very interesting dive into the limitations of the frequentist approach!

Narrator absolutely understood the brief and was able to convey the book's statistical concepts in an engaging and entertaining way (as I'm sure the author had intended).

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  • jcloth83
  • 03-29-22

Excellent, required reading for anyone who makes inferences from data, which is everyone!

Not only is the book incredibly thoroughly researched and evidenced, it’s presented in an easily accessible manner for non experts. The narrator does a perfect job too.