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Sound reasoning requires statistical understanding

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1:22pm, November 7, 2008

Gerd Gigerenzer is director of the Center for Adaptive Behavior and Cognition at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin. He is also director of the HardingCenter for Risk Literacy in Berlin. He studies how people can make effective decisions given limited time and information. Gigerenzer also explores ways to improve statistical understanding and communication. He has trained U.S. federal judges and physicians in several countries on how to understand risk and uncertainty. Behavioral sciences writer Bruce Bower asked Gigerenzer about statistical illiteracy and the nature of decision making.

How extensive is statistical illiteracy?

It’s a largely unknown problem that applies not only to

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