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The Art Of Deception With Polls And Statistics

1127 words - 5 pages

You see them in the news every day. Barrack Obama leads in the Gallop poll by five percent. The crime rate in California has gone up thirty-five percent in the past twenty years. What do these polls and statistics really mean? In the past five years every time you see a television news program or a newspaper you always see a poll being quoted or certain statistics to make a point or push a certain agenda. Lawmakers use these polls and statistics to make their decision on certain laws and bills. Polls and statistics are as useless as a poppy flavored lollypop.According to the latest survey 3 out of 4 people make up 75% of the world population. If you listened to this survey you can tell it doesn't make any sense. Anyone can make up a survey and basically make it say anything the pollster wants it to. They manipulate the numbers or the ask the questions in a deceptive manner to get the answer they wanted. Did you know that ninety percent of polls are done by people who've already decided the results? Seventy-five percent of people who read polls believe them unquestioningly. Polls have an average of plus or minus fifteen percent error. Furthermore eighty-five percent of politicians use tracking polls to make decisions that effect your every day life. A hundred percent of these statistics have been made up. People use polls and statistics to sound like they know what they are talking about or to prove their point. With polls you have to take in consideration the sample, the size of sample, and how the question was asked.People lie with statistics and numbers every day. You can see them when you turn on the television, look at the posters, or on the internet. Many of these people use really vague claims, false fractions and do not account bias into their claims. These are caused by incorrect assumptions and conclusions. The misuse of communication of information in print misleads whoever that information was designed for which for some advertisements it is what it was meant to accomplish. In credit card television commercials you see small white letters at the bottom of the television screen stating the real terms and conditions and a bunch of legal mumbo jumbo. Sometimes the small print contradicts what they are saying in the commercial. This is why you have to read the fine print.A couple of months ago, Frank Luntz, a corporate and political consultant and pollster was on a television show called Penn and Teller's Bullshit. On this episode Penn and Teller were trying to reveal the "bullshit" in polling, statistics, and numbers. Frank Luntz has worked most notably with the Republican Party in the United States. His specialty is "testing language and finding words that will help his clients sell their product or turn public opinion on an issue or a candidate." Frank Luntz said on the show," The key to survey research is to ask questions that people care about the answers and to ask the question in a way that you get the right answers." (Penn and...

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