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Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics April 27, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Mindfulness, People, Word Play.
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People love to throw statistics and emotional arguments around to support their own point of view and get people riled up about nothing.

I saw a commercial about autism which compared the number of children diagnosed with autism (1 in 166) with the number of children who are killed in fatal car crashes (1 in 23,000).

Using that as the starting point, it proceeded to argue that . . .

Wait!

This is a perfect example of using flawed statistics to prove a point.

If you are talking about fatal car crashes, then you need to compare that with fatalities from autism, not the number of children diagnosed with autism.

Childhood fatalities from car crashes:  1 in 23,000

Childhood fatalities from autism:  a whole lot less!

Don’t be persuaded by someone spewing statistics in your direction.  First, look at what the numbers represent.  If they are comparing apples with oranges, ignore them.

There are three kinds of lies:  lies, damn lies, and statistics.” ~ Benjamin Disraeli

No rules.  Just write!

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Comments»

1. Loreen Lee - April 27, 2010

Good post, here!

nrhatch - April 28, 2010

Thanks, Loreen!

2. Raycher - April 28, 2010

I’m always telling to everyone that statistics which are used by commercial creators are lies, but no one trusts me but they trust that, every 167th children is diagnosed with autism….

😐

that’s fatality too… 😐

3. nrhatch - April 28, 2010

And even if the statistics are “true,” they may be taken out of context ~ to create an emotional appeal, rather than a logical response.

Thanks for commenting.


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