Understanding Uncertainty

Understanding Uncertainty

Author(s): Dennis V. Lindley

Published Online: 10 APR 2006

Print ISBN: 9780470043837

Online ISBN: 9780470055489

DOI: 10.1002/0470055480

About this Book

A lively and informal introduction to the role of uncertainty and probability in people's lives from an everyday perspective

From television game shows and gambling techniques to weather forecasting and the financial markets, virtually every aspect of modern life involves situations in which the outcomes are uncertain and of varying qualities. But as noted statistician Dennis Lindley writes in this distinctive text, "We want you to face up to uncertainty, not hide it away under false concepts, but to understand it and, moreover, to use the recent discoveries so that you can act in the face of uncertainty more sensibly than would have been possible without the skill."

Accessibly written at an elementary level, this outstanding text examines uncertainty in various everyday situations and introduces readers to three rules--craftily laid out in the book--that prove uncertainty can be handled with as much confidence as ordinary logic. Combining a concept of utility with probability, the book insightfully demonstrates how uncertainty can be measured and used in everyday life, especially in decision-making and science.

With a focus on understanding and using probability calculations, Understanding Uncertainty demystifies probability and:
* Explains in straightforward detail the logic of uncertainty, its truths, and its falsehoods
* Explores what has been learned in the twentieth century about uncertainty
* Provides a logical, sensible method for acting in the face of uncertainty
* Presents vignettes of great discoveries made in the twentieth century
* Shows readers how to discern if another person--whether a lawyer, politician, scientist, or journalist--is talking sense, posing the right questions, or obtaining sound answers

Requiring only a basic understanding of mathematical concepts and operations, Understanding Uncertainty is useful as a text for all students who have probability or statistics as part of their course, even at the most introductory level.

Table of contents