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Old January 12, 2009, 02:17 PM   #26
psyfly
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Join Date: April 27, 2007
Location: Texas
Posts: 780
Quote:
Sure there are. For example, statistics can tell us that you are probably going to be better off in a vehicle accident if you are using your seat belt than if you are not using it.
I'm not convinced.

One, the operative word in your response here, unfortunately for certainty, is "probably".

Two, okay, I was using a bit of hyperbole, statistics do identify trends which can be useful to us in making decisions. But they cannot, by their nature, tell us anything predictive about a single individual or event.

For example, I have a good friend who is alive today because she was sitting on her seatbelt during the accident. Had she been wearing it, she would not have survived. Does this lead me to not wear my seatbelt? Of course not, after all, her statistic has already been counted . But it does help illustrate the limitations of statistical methods in individual prediction.

Best,

Will
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