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The Improbability Principle
David J. Hand
On Sale February 11, 2014
In The Improbability Principle, the renowned statistician David J. Hand argues that extraordinarily rare events are anything but. In fact, they’re commonplace....
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"[A] lucid overview of the mathematics of chance and the psychological phenomena that can make probability seem counter-intuitive to so many . . . Hand has written a superlative introduction to critical thinking, accessible to everybody, regardless of mathematical ability."
“Very engaging . . . If you wish to read about how probability theory can help us understand the apparent hot hand in a basketball game, superstitions in gambling and sports, prophecies, parapsychology and the paranormal, holes in one, multiple lottery winners, and much more, this is a book you will enjoy. I will go further. The statistician Samuel S. Wilks (paraphrasing H.G. Wells) said that ‘statistical thinking will one day be as necessary for efficient citizenship as the ability to read and write.’ With that laudable goal in mind, The Improbability Principle should be, in all probability, required reading for us all.” —John A. Adams, The Washington Post
In the March 2014 issue of Success Magazine, Margaret Jaworski writes that David Hand "leads readers through this unfamiliar land of probability and statistics with wit and charm."
Laura Miller at Salon calls The Improbability Principle "an intensely useful (as well as a remarkably entertaining) book . . . It can transform the way you read the newspaper, that’s for sure."
"[An] ingenious introduction to probability that mixes counterintuitive anecdotes with easily digestible doses of statistics . . . Hand offers much food for thought, and readers willing to handle some simple mathematics will find this a delightful addition to the “why people believe weird things” genre.
"An erudite but utterly unpretentious guide to the often confusing and counterintuitive subject of probability and its underappreciated complement, improbability."