Posts Tagged ‘ Decision Making ’

Some code to help you remember numbers

January 17, 2012
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Some code to help you remember numbers

Two posts ago we showed you the digit sound system for remembering numbers. This week we provide two computer programs to help you create mnemonics.

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You’ve got the whole world in your portfolio

December 29, 2011
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You’ve got the whole world in your portfolio

A famous finance professor once told us that good diversification meant holding everything in the world. Fine, but in what proportion?Suppose you could invest in every country in the world. How much would you invest in each? In a market-capitalization weighted index, you'd invest in each country in proportion to the market value of its investments (its "market capitalization")....

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Do cents follow Benford’s Law?

October 5, 2011
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Do cents follow Benford’s Law?

Benford's law is an amazing thing. If you know the probability distribution that classes of "natural" numbers should have, you can detect where people might be faking data: phony tax returns, bogus scientific studies, etc.

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Dollars and cents: How are you at estimating the total bill?

September 30, 2011
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Dollars and cents: How are you at estimating the total bill?

When estimating the cost of a bunch of purchases, a useful heuristic is rounding to the nearest dollar. (In fact, on US income tax returns, one is allowed to omit the cents). If prices were uniformly distributed, the following two heuristics would be equally accurate:* Rounding each item up or down to the nearest dollar and summing * Rounding each...

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How many NYC restaurants get As on their health inspections?

August 15, 2011
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How many NYC restaurants get As on their health inspections?

Decision Science News is no stranger to misleading infographics in free New York newspapers. We could stop reading them entirely, but we find that playing "spot the infographic flaw" makes time fly on the subway.Recently we saw the above graphic in a paper called Metro. Can you spot the goof?

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Once again, chart critics and graph gurus welcome

December 10, 2010
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Once again, chart critics and graph gurus welcome

HOW TO DISPLAY A LINE PLOT WITH COUNT INFORMATION? In a previously-mentioned paper Sharad and your DSN editor are writing up, there is the above line plot with points. The area of each point shows the count of observations. It’s done in R with ggplot2 (hooray for Hadley). We generally like this type of plot,

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Some ideas on communicating risks to the general public

December 3, 2010
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Some ideas on communicating risks to the general public

SOME EMPIRICAL BASES FOR CHOOSING CERTAIN RISK REPRESENTATIONS OVER OTHERS This week DSN posts some thoughts (largely inspired by the work of former colleagues Stephanie Kurzenhäuser, Ralph Hertwig, Ulrich Hoffrage, and Gerd Gigerenzer) about communicating risks to the general public, providing references and delicious downloads where possible. Representations to use less often Single-event probabilities as

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The counterfactual GPS!

July 23, 2010
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The counterfactual GPS!

WHAT IF YOUR GPS TOLD YOU WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED IF YOU HAD TAKEN THE OTHER ROUTE? Not long ago, your Decision Science News editor was planning a trip to a book group meeting along with another member. The monthly book group takes place in Cove Neck Long Island, about an hour East of Manhattan.

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