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What’s a 30% chance of rain? And why does it matter to doctors?

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Warning: This post was published more than 5 years ago.

I keep old posts on the site because sometimes it's interesting to read old content. Not everything that is old is bad. Also, I think people might be interested to track how my views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have mellowed and matured!

But given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

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Many thanks for your understanding.

The news reader announces a 30% chance of rain tomorrow. Thirty per cent of what? Most people in Berlin think that it will rain tomorrow 30% of the time. Others believe that it will rain tomorrow in 30% of the region. In New York the majority believe that it will rain on 30% of the days for which the prediction was made.

This is the (edited) opening of BMJ 2012;344:e245, a fascinating paper about single event probabilities by Gigerenza and Galesic. It’s only short, quite fun, and may convince you to change your practice. Well worth a read.

This 1,489th post was filed under: Diary Style Notes, Health, Quotes, , , .






More posts worth reading

What I’ve been reading this month (published 4th March 2017)

What I’ve been reading this month (published 6th February 2017)

What I’ve been reading this month (published 31st December 2016)

Supermarkets aren’t dying (published 24th October 2014)

Filling the void (published 1st June 2003)

Travel Headaches (published 1st February 2005)

Photo-a-day 334: Angel (published 30th November 2012)


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