Chart of Simpson Reversal for Two Surgeons" image (c) by Mike DeHaan

A Guide to the Yule-Simpson Paradox

My recent Decoded Science article, “Detecting or Avoiding the Yule-Simpson Paradox“, deals with a surprising puzzle that may occur when comparing two competitors under different conditions.

Chart of Simpson Reversal for Two Surgeons" image (c) by Mike DeHaan
Chart of Simpson Reversal for Two Surgeons” image (c) by Mike DeHaan

A Cut-and-Dried Example of a Yule-Simpson Paradox

The chart above compares the success rates of two fictional surgeons for scheduled versus emergency operations. Dr. alpha has a higher success rate in each situation; but Dr. beta‘s overall success rate is higher. That, my friends, is a Yule-Simpson Paradox, or Simpson Reversal.

My article explains the math of the Yule-Simpson Paradox, with some examples of how the situation may arise.

There’s a practical side, too, whether you’re a marketer planning an A/B experiment; a patient trying to decide between competing doctors or medical treatments; or a student weighing educational programs.

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Thank you for reading my online article about the Yule-Simpson Paradox.