It is common knowledge that statistics can be misused and abused

It is common knowledge that statistics can be misused and abused, either intentionally or otherwise. ‘Lies, D*mned Lies, and Statistics’ as the saying commonly goes! You will read about ‘bias’ this week and about how surveying methods can be done properly (or improperly).After familiarizing yourself with the reading material, go to any mainstream news site that you know. Find a recent article (within the last year) that discusses something about statistics (political polling, marketing result, scientific study, etc.) and read it. The “Science” and “Economy/Business” sections tend to be good places to look. Pay attention to anything misleading or maybe even false. You may or may not agree with the conclusions, but focus on the article objectively if possible. Some things to watch for are:1) No link or citation to the study discussed2) No sample size given for the study3) No margin of error given for the study (we will discuss this later in the course, but is usually a +/- number)4) No indication of who carried out the study or how the study was carried out5) Questions and conclusions of the study by the news outlet are not presented accurately when compared to the orginal6) Questionable graphs (see http://www.statisticshowto.com/misleading-graphs/ for some good examples)7) etc.Once you find a good article, link to it here and discuss some things that may be wrong with it. Do not choose an article another student has chosen. You can look for the above issues, or find your own within it. How would you revise the article to make it more ‘honest’ in its presentation of a study or statistical results? Why do you think numbers and statistics are generally persuasive to people more than other methods? Then comment on other posts as to whether you agree or not with their interpretations and why.Parameters: Initial discussion posts must be made by Wednesday of each week. In addition, at least two classmate replies should be posted all on separate days. Each response must be a minimum of four complete sentences with no spelling or grammatical errors. In addition, a student contribution must add value to the discussion. A post is determined to be of substance by containing information that supplements, contradicts, questions, or furthers the discussion. Responses such as “me too” and “I agree” and responses not related to the subject of the discussion are not considered to be substantive. Students are encouraged to post references to outside sources using proper APA citations.

 

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