On Monday, we will finish Chapter 12 of the course packet, on independence and compounding. We will focus on the topic of lurking variables and the fallacy of mistaken compounding. Our in-class case study will involve a close look at the topic of contraceptive effectiveness:

If there is any time available, we will introduce Chapter 13, on Bayes’ rule.

On Wednesday, we finish Chapter 13. Key ideas:

  • prior and posterior probabilities
  • likelihood
  • confusion matrix
  • base-rate neglect


You should base your homework this work off the green_match.R script from a couple of weeks ago, which demonstrates the basic skills of matching (and matching + regression) for estimating a causal effect.


By Monday of next week (week 13), please read:

  • All of Chapter 13, on Bayes’ rule.
  • Chapter 14 through 270 (stopping at the top of page 271). You can safely skip the subsection entitled “Advanced topic: a derivation of the binomial distribution.”


Exercises 7 this week are on cause-and-effect reasoning and basic probability. They are due in class next on Monday, April 16.