Home > Website of the Week Archive Detail

<< Prev 9/3/2006 Next >>

Belie A Lie

In line with the resource being reviewed this week, this week's review of a web site also focuses on how to lie with statistics. The site was organized by Eric Chudler, a neuroscientist at the University of Washington.

The website says much that is similar to Huff, but in a condensed and up-to-date form. Key ideas are the problem of a mean, sampling misuse, and graphics trickery.

And while you are visiting that site, you might look at the two links included on the page, one dealing with numbers and the other with collecting data. They are helpful and quite clear.

Another useful web site is the BBC's website on the understanding of statistics. It discusses the misuse of statistics related to women being better drivers, todlers who attend pre-school being more aggressive, fingerprints, drug-use, and WWI head injuries.

For an education about the whole process of statistics mis-use, you might page through Bill Wilson's powerpoint presentation on the gathering of statistics as part of research. It is a good and interesting overview.

Finally, if you have nothing to do for the remainder of of a day, google "how to lie with statistics." You will find sites (usually accompanied by vehement arguments) that discuss the misuse of statistics relevant to the cost of living, teen sex, drug use, financial propaganda, hiding the homeless, and war statistics.

All of this reminds me of George Carlin's statement: "Think about how stupid the average person is; now realize half of them are dunber than that."