Archive: Peter Donnelly on how stats can fool us

Posted by: Tedstaff

For the next two weeks, we’re presenting some of our favorite TEDTalks from among the 270+ talks and performances we’ve posted since June 2006. Look for brand-new TEDTalks starting August 18. Until then, enjoy these gems — and suggest your own by writing to contact@ted.com or joining the conversation on TED.com.

In the TED tradition of rethinking statistics, Oxford mathematician Peter Donnelly talks about the common mistakes we make in interpreting numbers — and the devastating impact these errors can have on the outcome of criminal trials. Viewers who’ve seen this talk have discussed the coin-toss experiment in depth (read the comments to find a simulation); and then there’s this comment: “OMGosh how sexy is this man’s brain?” (Recorded July 2005 in Oxford, UK. Duration: 21:32)

Watch Peter Donnelly’s 2005 talk on TED.com, where you can download it, rate it, comment on it and find other talks and performances.

Get TED delivered:
Subscribe to the TEDTalks video podcast via RSS >>
Subscribe to the iTunes video podcast
Subscribe to the iTunes audio podcast
Get updates via Twitter >>
Join our Facebook fan page >>

Subscribe to the TED Blog >>

Comments (1)

  • Alin Iventa commented on Aug 7 2008

    Hello everybody!

    I am trying to embed the above video into my personal blog, but it seems that i’m not getting anywhere with the “cut and paste” thing.

    I admit i don’t know HTML code, but i’m relying on your when it comes to providing this type of codes to people who are interested in promoting your work.

    I personally admire what you do and would like to further promote your website through my blog, therefore your assistance will be appreciated.

    Best regards,