Elementary statistics for jurors

I have been summoned for jury duty. I am conscious of the relevance of statistics to some jury trials. For example, the concept of “base rate” and its application to probability calculations is sometimes – perhaps always – relevant.

What statistical topics might a person in my situation usefully study, and what materials would be suitable for somebody with my background?

I have a “hard science” degree and so have some limited statistical knowledge, but my skills are rusty. I work full time and don’t have a lot of time before my jury duty. So it would be appropriate for the answers to focus on elementary concepts, simple problem solving skills and their application to relevant problems (and the limitations of those concepts and methods, of course).

Answer

I very much enjoyed reading Gerd Gigerenzer’s book “Das Einmaleins der Skepsis” – I believe there are two English versions, Reckoning with Risk and Calculated Risks.

I think that could be a good brush-up in basic statistics which I’d recommend to everyone. What may be even more important in the context of a jury is that he gives examples of how to talk about statistical topics in a way that can be understood by (statistical) lay persons. And how to translate certain kinds of statements into something that can be understood by humans.

(I could point you to some other nice and relevant popular statistics books, but they are available in German only)

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