Ben Goldacre Randomness Theory

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Chapter 10 in Ben Goldacre’s book Bad Science is called “Why Clever People Believe Stupid Things” and the title alone hints what the upcoming theories will be about. When I read the title of the chapter, the first thing I thought about was superstitions and luck. As I read on, I discovered that the theory does actually touch upon the topic of luck. The Randomness theory discusses how humans have a habit of making something out of nothing (Goldacre, 2008). Goldacre provides a few example of this, including shapes in clouds and gamblers running out of their luck. To further prove his point, Goldacre refers to Thomas Gilovich’s experiment in which Gilovich showed basketball fans a random arrangement of Xs and Os, claiming they showed
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According to Goldacre, two common reasons are to gather an strange group of people and to ask them a thoughtless question (2008). Some statistics are proven through the use of bias selection and an poorly worded question. The example he uses to prove this theory was an article published in The Daily Telegraph, names “Doctors Say No To Abortions In Their Surgeries” (Goldacre, 2008, p.197). This article stated that four out of five doctors did not want to perform an abortion while proceeding with surgery. Goldacre asked a question that was going through my head, where did these number come from? As I read on, I discovered that this survey was conducted online, on a doctors’ chat site. The question itself was vague and all-in-all very poorly …show more content…
This example is about a nurse that was imprisoned for seven counts of murder and three attempted murder; a woman, perhaps wrongfully, labelling a serial killer. What Goldacre was trying to explain through his example, was that you cannot create a hypothesis after you gather your results – it breaks a basic rule of any research involving statistics. He states that if your hypothesis comes from your research then there is not point in analyzing the same data to confirm your hypothesis (Goldacre,

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