Proceed With Caution: The Danger Of Interpreting Statistics

910 words - 4 pages

Statistics should be interpreted with caution as they can be misleading;
they can both lie and tell the truth.

Whether or not people notice the importance of statistics, statistics are used by different cohorts of people from a farmer to an academician and a politician in their everyday life. For example, Cambodian famers produce an average of three tons or rice per hectare, connection about eighty per cent of Cambodian population is a farmer, and at least two million people support party A?. According to the University of Melbourne, statistics are about making conclusive estimates about the present or to predict the future (The University of Melbourne, 2009). Statistics are not always trustable, yet they depend on their reliable factors such as samples, data collection methods and sources. This essay will discuss how people can use statistics to present facts or to delude others. Then, it will discuss some of the criteria for a reliable interpretation of statistics. Haven’t really improved the cohesion.
Researchers, professionals and others use statistics to prove their claims or findings. Even though statistics are not an absolute fact because the conclusion is mostly drawn from a sample group – representative of a specific population subjected to the research, it is commonly used as the basis of decision making or alternating choices in daily living, studies, work, scientific research, politics and other planning. The inventor of a documentary film called “An Inconvenient Truth”, Mr. Al Gore, for instance, in his campaign to educate people about the climate change, used statistics to alert people that everyone on earth is polluting the environment and should participate in solving the problem. He collected data on climate change impacts from many different countries to confirm his above argument. Moreover, effective planners use statistics to design strategies. The more the statistics are accurate, the more effective the plan becomes. For example, the “one child” population policy of China, which was lawful in 1979, was introduced to reduce the approximately 300 million people in the first twenty years (1979-1999) (China's one child policy, 2010). This policy was designed after the Chinese Government understood its national statistics, which show rapid population growth in the country. In this aspect, statistics present facts based on the sampled data collection; and they play a strong role as the basis of making decisions or alternating options.
On the other hand, statistics can also be manipulated. Many people such as politicians, businessmen and profit-oriented organizations use statistics to delude others. Statistics could be true, lying or without concrete sources, but the analyst may intentionally interpret them to mislead others. Company owners are likely to promote the company’s propaganda of their products. Some common exemplars of such deception are changing the presentation feature, showing only the positive results, hiding...

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