How to properly interpret statistics. : The Indicator from Planet Money Statistics and the information we get from them have a massive influence on our worldviews and the decisions we make, but how can we ensure we're interpreting them properly? Today, we find out.

Making Sense Of Pandemic Stats

Making Sense Of Pandemic Stats

  • Download
  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
SOPA Images/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Gett
(Photo Illustration by Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
SOPA Images/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Gett

Statistics are all around us.

You could turn on any news channel or scroll down your social media timelines and it wouldn't take long to uncover a mountain of facts and figures about the world's biggest issues. Statistics shape our perspectives and inform our most important decisions.

But how can we ensure that we're properly interpreting them? And what do we do with conflicting information?

In the age of the coronavirus, these questions have never been more important. Statistics help us distinguish what's true and what's false — which is why it's important we understand them properly.

Tim Harford is an economist and the author of a new book called The Data Detective: Ten Easy Rules to Make Sense of Statistics. He joins the show today to talk about some of these rules and how they apply during a global pandemic.

Music by Drop Electric. Find us: Twitter / Facebook / Newsletter.

Subscribe to our show on Apple Podcasts, PocketCasts and NPR One.