Ten Tips for the Statistically Savvy Sleuth
In This Chapter
Recognizing common statistical mistakes made by researchers and the media
Avoiding mistakes when doing your statistics
This book is not only about understanding the statistics that you come across in the media and in your workplace; it’s even more about digging deeper to examine whether those statistics are correct, reasonable, and fair. You have to be vigilant — and a bit skeptical — to deal with today’s information explosion, because many of the statistics you find are wrong or misleading, either by error or by design. If you don’t critique the information you’re consuming, in terms of its correctness, completeness, and fairness, who will? In this chapter, we outline ten tips for detecting common statistical mistakes made by researchers and by the media and ways to avoid making them yourself.
Pinpoint Misleading Graphs
Most graphs and charts contain great information that makes a point clearly, concisely, and fairly. However, many graphs give incorrect, mislabeled, and/or misleading information; or they simply lack important information that the reader needs to make critical decisions about what is being presented. Some of these shortcomings occur by mistake; others are incorporated by design in hopes ...