James Zimring, MD, PhD, a professor of pathology, has published a new book entitled Partial Truths: How Fractions Distort Our Thinking, that deals with errors commonly made by people when misperceiving fractions. We see slews of statistics that are essentially fractions, such as percentages, probabilities, frequencies, and rates, and we tend to misinterpret them. Sometimes bad actors manipulate us by cherry-picking data or distorting how information is presented; other times, sloppy communicators inadvertently mislead us. In many cases, we fool ourselves and have only our own minds to blame. Zimring also explores the counterintuitive reason that these flaws might benefit us, demonstrating that individual error can be highly advantageous to problem solving by groups. Blending key scientific research in cognitive psychology with accessible real-life examples, Partial Truths helps readers spot the fallacies lurking in everyday information, from politics to the criminal justice system, from religion to science, from business strategies to New Age culture.
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