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Visual and Statistical Thinking : Displays of Evidence for Decision Making

Visual and Statistical Thinking : Displays of Evidence for Decision Making - 97 edition

ISBN13: 978-0961392130

Cover of Visual and Statistical Thinking : Displays of Evidence for Decision Making 97 (ISBN 978-0961392130)
ISBN13: 978-0961392130
ISBN10: 0961392134
Cover type:
Edition/Copyright: 97
Publisher: Graphics Press
Published: 1997
International: No

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Visual and Statistical Thinking : Displays of Evidence for Decision Making - 97 edition

ISBN13: 978-0961392130

Edward R. Tufte

ISBN13: 978-0961392130
ISBN10: 0961392134
Cover type:
Edition/Copyright: 97
Publisher: Graphics Press

Published: 1997
International: No
Summary

When we reason about quantitative evidence, certain methods for displaying and analyzing data are better than others. Superior methods are more likely to produce truthful, credible, and precise findings. The difference between an excellent analysis and a faulty one can sometimes have momentous consequences.

This chapter examines the statistical and graphical reasoning used in making two life-and-death decisions: how to stop a cholera epidemic in London during September 1854; and whether to launch the space shuttle Challenger on January 28, 1986. By creating statistical graphics that revealed the data, Dr. John Snow was able to discover the cause of the epidemic and bring it to an end. In contrast, by fooling around with displays that obscured the data, those who decided to launch the space shuttle got it wrong, terribly wrong. For both cases, the consequences resulted directly from the quality of methods used in displaying and assessing quantitative evidence.

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