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3 Ways to Recognize Bad Stats

Discussion in 'News & Current Events' started by Revmitchell, Mar 19, 2014.

  1. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Feb 18, 2006
    Likes Received:
    1. Be Wary of Statistics in Promotions

    2. Be Wary of Stats that Cannot be Verified Scientifically

    3. Be Wary of Stats that do not Line up with Reality

    Be Skeptical when Needed and Always Discerning

    You Don't Need a Degree in Stats

    So, How Do We Know?

    What are some ways to tell if the stat you've heard is trustworthy? You can tell the quality of the research if it is:

    done on a good sample (a random set with a large enough sample, not a group at a conference, a website where people click to vote, etc)
    a good question (is it fair and not leading), and
    a good methodology (is it transparent, honest, and credible).

    You can guard against believing and spreading bad statistics by determining if its source is a promotional piece, if it cannot possibly be verified scientifically, and if it does not line up with reality. Then, if it is quality research, quote away.

    Anything else is just spreading misinformation. We can and should do better than that