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Effect. -A number of people, say five, are invited to throw dice, cut cards, cr perform some similar chance operation. The two lowest scorers are invited to have their luck improved by transfer from the two highest scorers. After a suitable ritual for the transfer of good luck, by the performer as conductor, by talisman, or by contact with the winners, the two losers try again. Their combined score has improved.

Method.—None. It is unlikely that the same people will get the least scores twice running. Put differently, the performer has deliberately picked out the two people who have had less than average scores. On their next attempt th^ey are therefore more likely than not to score more than they did the first time. In the sasme way, the scores of the winners would most likely be less, if we were so foolish as to let them try.

The experiment is a demonstration of one of the four classic errors in interpreting statistics. The others are covered by the following anecdotes: (a) The man who was told that twenty less people had been killed on the roads this month than last, and wanted to know who they were ; (b) The nonagenarian who was delighted to read in the official statistics that very few people die when they are over ninety ; (c) Consternation arose when it was learnt that 50 per cent, of the teetotallers in the Indian Army had been devoured by tigers, and the other 50 per cent, had died of

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