I have shown that Swedish top students know statistically significantly less about the world than the chimpanzees.

Hans Rosling

Quotation #15796

About This Quote


Source: "The Best Stats You've Ever Seen." TED2006. Feb. 2006. Conference Presentation. Additional Information: To understand the meaning of this quote, it helps to have some context. The quote is from a 2006 TED Talk given by statistician Hans Rosling. In the Talk, Rosling describes an experiment in which he asked college students which country they thought had the highest infant mortality rates, and fewer than half of the students guessed correctly. Rosling explains that if you were to pose the same question to chimpanzees, they would guess right half of the time. Of course, contrary to the statement made in this tongue-in-cheek quote, this does not mean that chimps literally know more about the world than these particular humans; Rosling goes to explain that the reason students were likely to guess incorrectly was not because of ignorance, but because they had preconceived ideas about the subject of the question. Unlike people, monkeys do not have any such preconceived notions about infant mortality rates. Watch the full TED Talk here: Hans Rosling - The Best Stats You've Ever Seen