Sample
  • The Data Detective

  • Ten Easy Rules to Make Sense of Statistics
  • By: Tim Harford
  • Narrated by: Tim Harford
  • Length: 10 hrs and 24 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (723 ratings)

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The Data Detective

By: Tim Harford
Narrated by: Tim Harford
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Publisher's summary

From “one of the great (greatest?) contemporary popular writers on economics” (Tyler Cowen) comes a smart, lively, and encouraging rethinking of how to use statistics.

Today we think statistics are the enemy, numbers used to mislead and confuse us. That’s a mistake, Tim Harford says in The Data Detective. We shouldn’t be suspicious of statistics - we need to understand what they mean and how they can improve our lives: they are, at heart, human behavior seen through the prism of numbers and are often “the only way of grasping much of what is going on around us”. If we can toss aside our fears and learn to approach them clearly - understanding how our own preconceptions lead us astray - statistics can point to ways we can live better and work smarter.

As “perhaps the best popular economics writer in the world” (New Statesman), Tim Harford is an expert at taking complicated ideas and untangling them for millions of readers. In The Data Detective, he uses new research in science and psychology to set out ten strategies for using statistics to erase our biases and replace them with new ideas that use virtues like patience, curiosity, and good sense to better understand ourselves and the world. As a result, The Data Detective is a big-idea book about statistics and human behavior that is fresh, unexpected, and insightful.

©2021 Tim Harford (P)2021 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

"Lively, crystal-clear, and insightful explanations of how data are increasingly affecting our lives - a phenomenon that every educated person should understand.” (Steven Pinker, author of Rationality: What It Is, Why It Seems Scarce, Why It Matters)

“[Harford] expertly guides us through the many ways in which data can trick us.... Though numbers are at the core of The Data Detective, it’s emotion that wields...power, affecting not only how we respond to data but also how we absorb it in the first place.” (The Wall Street Journal)

“Harford is right to say that statistics can be used to illuminate the world with clarity and precision. They can help remedy our human fallibilities.” (The New Yorker)

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