May 10, 2016

In evidence we trust

Jamie Hale, who recently posted an useful guest post on this site (How to study) is also the author of the book In evidence we trust. The need for science, rationality & statistics. It's an interesting and useful book which consists of three chapters plus some appendices.

Chapter one explains why science and statistics are important. It explains that reality exists and that science is essential for acquiring knowledge about reality. The chapter clears up many misunderstandings about what science is and why it is important. It also arms the reader with some guidelines to protect oneself against all kinds of nonsense, pseudo science and invalid truth claims. Chapter two focuses on the need for rationality, and explains how it is different from intelligence, and contains an interesting and long interview with Keith Stanovich on that topic. Chapter three answers frequently asked questions about research methods and statistics. In this chapter both some broad questions are answered and many quite detailed questions (for example, should you use a t-test or an ANOVA for comparing the means of groups?).

This book contains a lot of interesting information which can be very helpful for students and for people who, in their job, need to be able to analyze and understand scientific publications.

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