William Cody is Dean of the Presbyterian School of Nursing at Queens University of Charlotte. He was Chair of Family and Community Nursing at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte from 1997 to 2005, and has 27 years of experience in nursing. Cody holds a bachelor's degree in nursing from Regents College, Albany, NY, a master's in nursing from Hunter College, and a PhD, in nursing from the University of South Carolina. The author of nearly 100 publications on theory, research, and practice in nursing, Cody is perhaps best known as former Contributing Editor for Theoretical Concerns at Nursing Science Quarterly . Cody is a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and a Fellow in the Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellows Program, which promotes senior leadership in healthcare. He is active in community health and HIV/AIDS care, and is a national leader in the contemporary nursing center movement.
We can think of the letter H here as referring to some hypothesis or belief, and the letter D as referring to some data or information that is obtained subsequent to that hypothesis or belief. Bayes’ theorem tells us how to “update” the probability that the hypothesis or belief is true in light of the data or information that has been obtained. The intuitive basis for the theorem is difficult to grasp, and even more difficult to retain in memory in a clear form. To help make it clear, I’ve concocted the following spatial analogy.