AARON LEVENSTEIN ON UNSEEN STATISTICS
Use this to remind you to be suspicious of all statistics, especially those you want to be true.
Aaron Levenstein (1913–86) was an author and Professor of Business Administration at Baruch College. In one of his most memorable quotations he suggested that:
Statistics are like a bikini [or a pair of Speedos]. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.
Basically, he is saying that statistics can be used to confuse and mislead the reader. This was very evident in a national newspaper headline a few years ago that screamed, ‘Half of all schools in Britain are below average.’
WHAT TO DO
- Don’t accept any set of statistics at face value. Find out how ...