Out Now: Bayesian Thinking for Toddlers

About a year ago my former PhD-student Don van Ravenzwaaij challenged me to write a book that explains Bayesian inference to toddlers, using dinosaurs as the main vehicle of exposition. “I don’t think it’s possible”, Don said. In the words of Michael Jordan, “I took that personally”. Over the past year, I have been tweaking the storyline, and Viktor Beekman has worked on the illustrations. Ultimately, with help from designer Johan van der Woude, I am now proud to present to you: Bayesian Thinking for Toddlers! With 43 pages and 43 dinosaurs, this is a must-have for any toddler with even a passing interest in Ockham’s razor and the prequential principle.

Initially, my goal was to sell the book and let the modest proceeds benefit the JASP project. Unfortunately, the self-publishing options I considered could not deliver the quality of paper and binding that I felt was necessary. In the end, I had 200 high-quality copies printed by an old-fashioned printing company; these copies will be used as JASP merchandise. The pdf of the book is freely available on PsyArxiv.

In another blog post I might discuss the choices I made when constructing the storyline. But for now I just wanted to present the book to the world. As a teaser, below are a few of my favorite pages. Enjoy!

At the end of the book, there’s the inevitable advertising for JASP:



Wagenmakers, E.-J. (2020). Bayesian Thinking for Toddlers. Freely available at https://psyarxiv.com/w5vbp/.

About The Authors

Eric-Jan Wagenmakers

Eric-Jan (EJ) Wagenmakers is professor at the Psychological Methods Group at the University of Amsterdam.