- Tapa dura: 288 páginas
- Editor: Yale University Press (1 de mayo de 2018)
- Idioma: Inglés
- ISBN-10: 0300236123
- ISBN-13: 978-0300236125
- Valoración media de los clientes: Sé el primero en opinar sobre este producto
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Randomistas: How Radical Researchers Are Changing Our World (Inglés) Tapa dura – 1 may 2018
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"Packed with tantalizing tales, Randomistas is essential reading for anyone interested in debunking myths and uncovering hidden truths."-Steven Levitt, coauthor of Freakonomics "The subject of this book could hardly be more vital: are we humble enough to admit we may be wrong, and do we care enough to learn? Randomistas is rigorous, impassioned and tremendous fun. Everyone should read it." -Tim Harford, author of The Undercover Economist and Fifty Things That Made The Modern Economy "Randomistas is a tour de force - an engaging, passionate, how-to account of randomised experiments. After reading Leigh's book, you'll be baffled at the many businesses and governments yet to catch on. Fortunately, Leigh also offers a simple guide that anyone can follow. If the next generation of policymakers follows his advice - and let's hope they do - this book will literally change the world." -David Halpern, head of the UK's Behavioural Insights Team, author of Inside the Nudge Unit
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A fascinating account of how radical researchers have used experiments to overturn conventional wisdom and shaped life as we know it Experiments have consistently been used in the hard sciences, but in recent decades social scientists have adopted the practice. Randomized trials have been used to design policies to increase educational attainment, lower crime rates, elevate employment rates, and improve living standards among the poor. This book tells the stories of radical researchers who have used experiments to overturn conventional wisdom. From finding the cure for scurvy to discovering what policies really improve literacy rates, Leigh shows how randomistas have shaped life as we know it. Written in a "Gladwell-esque" style, this book provides a fascinating account of key randomized control trial studies from across the globe and the challenges that randomistas have faced in getting their studies accepted and their findings implemented. In telling these stories, Leigh draws out key lessons learned and shows the most effective way to conduct these trials.Ver Descripción del producto
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Randomized control trials, tests, and experiments are when researchers randomly allocate participants into two or more groups: one that gets the treatment or program (or different groups receive variations of the treatment or program), and another doesn’t. Leigh devotes time to the pioneers of randomized trials – the early randomistas – such as Charles Saunders Peirce in 1885 for psychology; Ronald Fisher in the 1920s for agriculture and biology; Austin Bradford Hill in 1946 for medicine (tuberculosis); and Judit Gueron in 1974 for social welfare policy.
Leigh also responds to the criticism of randomized trials – too narrow, too expensive, too slow, unethical, not feasible, the world is too complex to isolate specific testing components, it’s not fair, and so on – and he discusses when randomized trials are effective and when they are not. For example, what is the value of placebo testing (pretending to provide treatment and the participant does not know of the pretence) and is it ethical? What is the value of conducting four kinds of criminal justice experiments: prevention, policing, punishment, and prison? Leigh also outlines how many randomized trials are currently being conducted daily by organizations, big and small, across the globe.
Randomistas is a fascinating book about the wrongs and rights of randomized control trials, and their impacts in decision-making from what to buy to how to heal. From the simple to the complex, from fun to life-changing decisions, this book covers the gamut, and is a far from dry statistics: it is entertaining and educational and interesting.
In short, Randomistas is a book in favor of randomized studies as a path to provable truth or understanding the way things (and people) work in the real world.
Randomistas uses both historical and modern examples, responding to potential objections where they naturally arise in the text. (It’s possible this could be a distraction to a reader who’s already convinced of the value of randomized trials, and there is a risk that the explanations in the midst of other, existing organizational topics (as each chapter tries to be) becomes yet another layer of complexity and shifting focus.)
Which is a sassy way of saying some treatments of the various topics felt like long parentheses inside of parentheses. It appeared to be an organizational choice, and I wondered if it was in response to the type of reader who wouldn’t stick around long enough to get to the chapter on (say) ethics, and instead drop the book and miss out. Miss out on having their objections addressed, I mean. Leigh spends a lot of time reassuring the reader this can be an ethical and extremely effective methodology.
Most people reading this will be familiar with the phrase, “There’s three kinds of falsehoods: lies, damn lies, and statistics.” In contrast, Leigh writes, “Sure, it’s possible to lie with statistics – but it’s even easier to lie without them.”
And with the level of detail Leigh goes into – explaining how trials are set up, work, and are reported on – a diligent observer has a way in which they can dig into the solidity of any well-founded claim.
For my part, I did not feel the same weight of ethical quandary in every scenario, and I appreciated Leigh’s effort to portray critics’ concerns without belittling them.
This book is well-written. The illustrating stories and examples clarified the author’s points, and the energy was kept consistently high through the use of surprise and a good balance of (to me) both familiar and new studies. The inclusion of applications was also eye-opening, planting new ideas I hadn’t thought of before. (“Particularly in areas wracked by ethnic conflict, researchers now think that election debates [modeling a verbal, political, disagreement in public] may be a vital tool in encouraging a culture of disagreement over important issues without resorting to violence.”)
Before ending the book, Leigh acknowledges the method’s limitations, and the rarity of dramatic discoveries, but he also lines out the way in which “anyone” could run a good randomized trial. It’s clear he believes in this tool, and by the time I was done reading his book, I did to.
I think that’s the biggest compliment I can give it and him.
(I received a free electronic copy of this book, but it did not shape the content of this review.)