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Landing Page Optimization: The Definitive Guide to Testing and Tuning for Conversions, 2nd Edition by Rich Page, Maura Ginty, Tim Ash

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Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics

There are three kinds of numbers: lies, damned lies, and statistics.

—Mark Twain, quoting Benjamin Disraeli

The statistics branch of mathematics has a poor reputation among the public. Much of modern science and economics is based on it in a fundamental way. So is public policy. Since public policy is a matter of priorities and heated debate about the allocation of government budgets, statistics has gotten pulled into the fray to support or undermine various political positions. Unscrupulous or ignorant people have corrupted it for their own purposes.

While there is nothing wrong with statistics itself, there are many common misuses of it. In this section, we survey these misuses along with some implications ...

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