# Statistics is an essential part of critical thinking, because it allows us to test an idea against..

Statistics is an essential part of critical thinking,
because it allows us to test an idea against empirical evidence. Random
occurrences and chance variation inevitably lead to occasional outcomes that
could support one viewpoint or another. But the science of statistics tells us
whether the sample evidence is convincing. In this book, you will learn how to
use statistics correctly in accordance with professional standards to make the
best decision.

Critical thinking means being able to evaluate evidence, to
tell fact from opinion, to see holes in an argument, to tell whether cause and
»

Statistics is an essential part of critical thinking,
because it allows us to test an idea against empirical evidence. Random
occurrences and chance variation inevitably lead to occasional outcomes that
could support one viewpoint or another. But the science of statistics tells us
whether the sample evidence is convincing. In this book, you will learn how to
use statistics correctly in accordance with professional standards to make the
best decision.

Critical thinking means being able to evaluate evidence, to
tell fact from opinion, to see holes in an argument, to tell whether cause and
effect has been established, and to spot illogic. The Wall Street Journal,
October 20, 2006.

We use statistical tools to compare our prior ideas with
empirical data (data collected through observations and experiments). If the
data do not support our theory, we can reject or revise our theory. In The Wall
Street Journal, in Money magazine, and on CNN you see stock market experts with
theories to explain the current market (bull, bear, or pause). But each year
brings new experts and new theories, and the old ones vanish. Logical pitfalls
abound in both the data collection process and the reasoning process. Lets
look at some.

»

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