How To Make Safer Decisions in Medicine

Marya Zilberberg

Posted 4/04/12 on Healthcare, Etc.

I love when an article I read first thing in the morning gets me to think about itself all through my morning chores and then erupts into a blog post. So it was with this little gem in the statistical publications “Significance.” The author suggests making gambling safer by placing realistic odds estimates right on the poker machines in casinos. He even goes through the generation of the odds of winning and losing and how much based on really transparent assumptions. In fact, what he has in effect constructed is a cost-benefit model for the decision to engage in the game of poker on these machines. Seems pretty simple, right? Just a few assumptions about how long the person will play, some objective inputs about the probabilities, and PRESTO, you have a transparent and realistic model of what is probable.

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