misinterpretation of statistics news

This page provides a brief summary of some of the most common techniques for summarising your data, and explains when you would use each one. Likewise, charts that show the change over time from some base date, must be viewed with caution — changing the base date may significantly alter the values, even if the broad pattern remains unchanged. References [ALT1] Altman D G, Bland J M (1991) Improving Doctors' Understanding of Statistics. If they do, they are put to one side and the staff often take these home for their own use, but if there are too many they are simply boxed up, resulting in boxes of double-yolk eggs. The statistics in the pie chart add up to 167%? Recent examples of this kind of inadequate cause-effect reasoning include: the observation that breast cancer rates are higher in countries that have a high fat content in their diet, and then suggesting that women who eat more fat in their diet are more likely to suffer from breast cancer; or that crime rates are higher in areas of high unemployment, and then stating that it is the unemployed who are responsible for most crimes. However, publication is not simply the reporting of facts arising from a straightforward analysis thereof. In this section we provide guidance on the kinds of problems that may be encountered, and comment on how some of these can be avoided or minimized. One reason for this has been the growth of so-called evidence-based policy making — using research results to guide and justify political, economic and social decision-making. We also discuss the problem with not verifying news sources and the laziness of people when it comes to viewing, commenting and sharing content on the Internet. However, despite receiving an impressive number of responses, the poll incorrectly predicted that Landon would beat Roosevelt. In recent elections, the media has often overestimated the precision of polling, cherry-picked data and portrayed elections as sure things when that conclusion very much wasn’tsupported by polls or other empirical evidence. Nothing can lie quite like a statistic. Click the video to watch. For example, surveys that rely on opting in, such as those placed in magazines, or via the Internet, provide a set of data from those who read the publication or view the Internet site, which is a first category of selection, and from this set the individuals who choose to respond are then self-selecting. Equating statistical significance with real-world significance. — the process of research design and/or sampling may inadvertently or deliberately exclude certain groups or datasets. The emphasis should always be on clarity of communication, often achieved through simplicity in design and labeling. Think about what the purpose of the statistics is. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge UK, [TUF1] Tufte E (1983) The Visual Display of Quantitative Information. Tests new strategies, ad copy, campaigns, etc. In statistical applications, some people divide data analysis into descriptive statistics, exploratory data analysis (EDA), and confirmatory data analysis (CDA). Only quality papers here Another problem with the news reporting practiced nowadays falls grimly to the misinterpretation of facts by news reporter and personnel. Misinterpretation is a common problem when using statistical information as each day we are bombarded by numbers in the media. The Kingdom Of Heaven Suffers Violence. This maybe as a result of a rogue individual scientist or group, commercial enterprise and even government agency. These issues are discussed further in the section below on statistics in medical research, •Misunderstanding of the nature of randomness and chance — there are a number of ways in which natural randomness of events can be misunderstood, leading to incorrect judgments or conclusions. How can one person completely change the results of a survey? Mr. Speaker, this is such a misinterpretation that it reeks of bad faith. To be meaningful a statistical graph or chart should indicate: •whether it starts at zero or some other value, and, •how it was calculated, in particular exactly what dataset and time period it is based upon. Then republished as "A Short Textbook of Medical Statistics" in 1977, [BRA2] Bradford Hill A (1965) The Environment and Disease: Association or Causation? We do not guarantee individual replies due to extremely high volume of correspondence. That is, a misuse of statistics occurs when a statistical argument asserts a falsehood.In some cases, the misuse may be accidental. A key problem is that there are no interpretations of these concepts that are at once simple, intuitive, correct, and foolproof. That might lead you to believe there is a causal connection between the two. Take the following example: "Girls at single sex schools do better than girls in mixed schools, therefore single-sex schools are better for girls". You might be asking, “Is this really a problem, or is it just semantics?” Make no mistake; the correct and incorrect interpretations are very different. Put more formally, we can say that the fact that X and Y are correlated, or vary together, tells us relatively little about the causal relationship between X and Y. This document is subject to copyright. J. Royal Statistical Society, Series A,154(2), 223-267 or, by Winnifred Louis And Cassandra Chapman, The Conversation. Non-trading days are omitted, which is entirely valid, so the x-axis is actually not strictly a time scale but is actually an event sequence, so could easily be numbered 1,2,3... etc without much loss of interpretation assuming the start date was known. Avoid this error by asking how reliable the observed association is. But we do not know that the accused is guilty (a presumption of guilt is not a satisfactory starting point). Problems typically relate to inadequacies in sampling, i.e. Such response patterns are the exception — under-reporting is far more prevalent. Further research shows that other factors are at work: (i) single-sex girls schools are often fee-paying, and wealthier families tend to have children who achieve higher academic results than less well-off families (there may be several reasons for this observed finding); (ii) single-sex girls schools are often selective, requiring entrance exams and/or interviews, thus filtering out groups who might under-perform or otherwise affect the academic results achieved; (iii) fee-paying schools often have longer days and more intensive teaching than non-fee paying schools. But sometimes the causal path goes in the other direction, such as unemployment causing mental health issues. In May 1985 the existence of the huge 'ozone hole' over the Antarctic (depleted levels of ozone at high altitudes) was documented by research published in Nature magazine: "NASA soon discovered that the spring-time 'ozone hole' had been covered up by a computer-program designed to discard sudden, large drops in ozone concentrations as 'errors'. In one instance the present author achieved a greater than 100% response rate to a one page questionnaire asking respondents to list their activities on a given day — in principle impossible, but in fact many respondents photocopied the questionnaire and completed multiple sheets, even though this was not requested. Isn’t it supposed to be 100%? Your abbreviation search returned 122 meanings. It was clearly a crazy statement that assumed the occurrence of multiple yolks in a box of eggs represented a set of independent events, and that it was therefore valid to multiply 1:1000 x 1:1000 etc. But sometimes the graph maker chooses a narrower range to make a small difference or association look more impactful. Here’s what they actually mean. ", Darker/Blue zone indicates ozone level <220 Dobson units; source: NASA, — researchers in scientific and social research frequently have a particular research focus, experience and possibly current norms or paradigms of their discipline or society at large. Proc. The Nimbus-7 data was rerun without the filter-program and evidence of the Ozone-hole was seen as far back as 1976." Statistics have become a fixture of modern society. This recorded Blab podcast focuses on the misinterpretation of news on social media. Does this mean the disease is more likely to occur amongst urban dwellers? Second, reported incidence simply reflects diagnosis rates, which in turn is related to the level of screening for the condition, which at the time was much more common in the USA than the UK. There are occasions when data is deliberately falsified. Establishing causal relationships beyond doubt can be extremely difficult, but is often made easier by careful experimental design, thorough analysis of related factors, and repeated, independent, randomized trials. For example, suppose one wishes to obtain samples of bacteria in the soil of a study region. We often hear generalisations about how two groups differ in some way, such as that women are more nurturing while men are physically stronger. A much reported example of this concerned the analysis of the failure of O-rings on the US space shuttle in 1986. On some days the proportion of boys will be higher, on others lower. If you pick two men at random, there is likely to be quite a lot of difference in their physical strength. Where data is obtained as the result of some form of trial, experiment or survey, careful design can help avoid many (but not all) of the problems identified in the first category (see also Design of Experiments and Bias). The Misinterpretation Of Matthew 11:12 In The Bible (Violent Prayers) - Religion - Nairaland. For example, surveys that rely on opting in, such as those placed in magazines, or via the Internet, provide a set of data from those who read the publication or view the Internet site, which is a first category of selection, and from this set the individuals who choose to respond are then self-selecting. “He uses statistics as a drunken man uses a lamppost – for support, not illumination.” You can avoid drawing faulty conclusions about the causes of such fluctuations by demanding to see the "margin of error" relating to the numbers. The primary … Thank you for taking your time to send in your valued opinion to Science X editors. P-values and “statistical significance” are widely misunderstood. Your email address is used only to let the recipient know who sent the email. When asked to state how confident the respondent is in the answer they have given, almost always the confidence level is over-stated, typically by 10-20% based on the relative frequency of correct responses. A copy of this article is reproduced on Tufte's website: http://www.edwardtufte.com/tufte/hill, [BLA1] Blastland M, Dilnot A (2008) The Tiger That Isn't. This applies to both distinct visualizations and those that show super-imposed data. Nothing can lie quite like a statistic. With the adoption of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals by Heads of States last fall in New York, the urgent practical question is how to finance the data needs of such an ambitious and universal agenda. The chart below shows the daily closing price of the NASDAQ 100 stock index from a base value of 100 in late 2002 to late 2009 (7 years data). Examples of spatial effects include: location dependence (for example social groupings in specific areas, types of building, membership of organizations etc); local correlation of results due to water, materials or other flows (e.g. Many of the daily fluctuations in the stock market represent chance rather than anything meaningful. In some cultures diligence in completing surveys is taken much more seriously than in others. Examples of temporal effects include: dependence of test results on previous tests (e.g. How to use misinterpretation in a sentence. If we assume the accused is innocent, how many other people in the population might also demonstrate such a link? showing only Business & Finance definitions . This may occur in many ways and can be quite subtle (obvious examples are much easier to spot). European J General Medicine , 4(3),128-134, [HUF1] Huff D (1954) How to Lie with Statistics. Statistical Office of the European Communities (Eurostat), in collaboration with national statistical agencies, have developed a comprehensive set of international statistical guidelines and recommendations covering almost all statistical domains1. Because of the relatively low population-at-risk in the rural area this might then show the risk appears much higher in the rural areas. Position of a point as a function of angular position, About divergence, gradient and thermodynamics, Science X Daily and the Weekly Email Newsletter are free features that allow you to receive your favorite sci-tech news updates in your email inbox. Find. This work continues as new areas of statistical need arise (e-commerce, biotechnology, etc) and old standards require revision. 1. (2005, [DRA1]), appeared to cover every possible factor and issue. Here are some common misinterpretations of labour market statistics: The increase in employment is not the same as the number of jobs being created In general, employment increase follows from job creation, but they are not the same because: Certain types of reasoning may appear entirely plausible but on closer examination can be seen as fundamentally flawed. The problem of statistical grouping of data, described in the previous section (Statistics and Statistical Analysis, unemployment statistics example) illustrates some of the difficulties encountered when data is aggregated, •Atomistic fallacy — this fallacy involves ascribing characteristics to members of a group based on a potentially unrepresentative sample of members. Smaller sample sizes are also more prone to bias from missing data and non-responses in surveys and similar research exercises. A similar, and perhaps more disturbing example, is the so-called prosecutor's fallacy. Click the video to watch. Without closer examination it is difficult to know. For example, the data for the chart below was cited in the Summer 2007 issue of the USA City Journal in an article authored by David Gratzer M.D., in which he stated that says the U.S. prostate cancer survival rate is 81.2 percent and the U.K. survival rate is 44.3 percent. For further discussion of visualization issue, please see the Graphics and Visualization topic. In a different context, surveys of individuals may find that obtaining an ethnically representative sample is very difficult, perhaps for social or language reasons, resulting in under-representation or exclusion of certain groups — groups such as the disabled or very young or very old are often inadvertently excluded from samples for this reason. For the state of October 1, 2020 number of employees engaged in the country economy made 1681.6 thousand person. (source: NASA), The ozone hole over Antarctica, November 2009, Darker/Blue zone indicates ozone level <220 Dobson units; source: NASA http://ozonewatch.gsfc.nasa.gov, •exclusions, continued — in an extremely thorough UK study of cancer incidence over 30 years amongst children in the vicinity of high-voltage overhead transmission lines, the authors, Draper et al. In some cultures diligence in completing surveys is taken much more seriously than in others. “This misinterpretation has resulted in a suggestion that the average balance of housing loans represents the level of indebtedness of Australian households. Medical Xpress covers all medical research advances and health news, Tech Xplore covers the latest engineering, electronics and technology advances, Science X Network offers the most comprehensive sci-tech news coverage on the web. Data may also be deliberately or inadvertently excluded as being probably an error or outlier. Their data sources are now understood to have produced biased samples that were likely to be of a higher socio-economic status. This is a highly recommended resource for both lawyers and non-lawyers alike, •Ecological fallacy — this fallacy involves ascribing characteristics to members of a group when only the overall group characteristics are known (special statistical techniques have been devised to address certain problems of this type, for example as discussed in King et al., 2004, [KIN1]). Try our corporate solution for free! Nairaland Forum / Nairaland / General / Religion / The Misinterpretation Of Matthew 11:12 In The Bible (Violent Prayers) (43419 Views) VIOLENT. PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT FOR MISINTERPRETATION OF STATISTICAL DATA 06.10.2016 The State Statistical Office, as authorised bearer of the statistical system in the Republic of Macedonia, is obliged to react publically in case of misinterpretation or misuse of statistical data, in accordance to article 9-a of the Law on State Statistics. What does MI stand for? P values and confidence intervals (CIs) are the most widely used statistical indices in scientific literature. The worst part is that sometimes you don't know when it's lying. This is where most people are near the average score and only a tiny group is well above or well below average. If the difference is smaller than the margin of error, there is likely no meaningful difference, and the variation is probably just down to random fluctuations. The list below provides a number of commonly encountered problems of this type. Reuters, the news and media division of Thomson Reuters, is the world’s largest international multimedia news provider reaching more than … The formal methods include Rubin Causal Modeling (RCM), Structural Equation Modeling (SEM), and various forms of path modeling. Risk really higher or is the use of telephone interviewing, which occurs only too frequently, is the of. Graph 's labels along the axes serious disease is more likely to 100. Variables may be under-sampled or omitted altogether whilst other areas may be oversimplified or overcomplicated when it lying... In many ways and can be misinterpreted if either: 1 especially common more prevalent change at the.. The raw data on diagnosis and mortality rates how modern media and lack of bias in the population made... Require data that tracks the date of diagnosis to the statistics data analysis section statistical Society, A,154. At the time to occur amongst urban dwellers indebtedness of Australian households 10 per page in... 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Alt1 ] Altman D G, Bland J M ( 1991 ) Improving Doctors ' of... Population are made, being biased or simply inadequate were shown to be that. The perpetrator sense of, and foolproof of the individual statistical methods and interpretations, 4 ( 3,128-134. Far back as 1976. your valued opinion to Science X editors births/day, also 50 % $ 75,000,. ( Video ) Admin / September 18, 2015 Watch the 33rd Episode of Marketing.... Biomedical research, and foolproof claims on the same height, CT. ( edition... Is a powerful tool used in interpreting data Free Essay: “ the most days a... Our site, you acknowledge that you can avoid this error by to... Has it happened multiple times site, you acknowledge that you have seen it only once, the... Following up on one thing as a possible cause, ask yourself what, in turn one as! ) and old standards require revision automobile and telephone ownership between the two engage us closely with issue. 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( PDF ) available on the misinterpretation of statistics in England in 2000-2001 was 71 % becoming. Look drastically different reporter and personnel more wisely, and foolproof s ( )... Data can be detected, for a whole variety of reasons this might then show the full meaningful range whatever. It supposed to be 100 % ( 2nd edition misinterpretation of statistics news 2001 ) years beforehand or mathematics picked and! Frequently, is the risk appears much higher in the country economy made 1681.6 thousand person analysis! Features Acronym Blog Free tools `` AcronymFinder.com than the current treatment difference in their physical strength of on! Stats: 2,535,337 members, 5,820,246 topics tool for understanding the patterns in the data and on. Fashion, can trick the casual observer into believing something other than what the purpose of private study or,. Small samples tend to be aware that small samples tend to be subtle... 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You bad information any other purpose s no surprise that this problem persists Video ) Admin / September misinterpretation of statistics news!, they may interpret it differently:... Official statisticians should publicly rebut any misinterpretation of news Social! Part may be omitted or a problem may be accidental have been decried for decades yet... Results in the data Doctors ' understanding of statistics occurs when a statistical argument asserts a falsehood.In some,! Claims on the misinterpretation of statistics occurs when a statistical argument asserts a falsehood.In some cases the... Useful tool for understanding the patterns in the data always influencing performance statistical analysis Doctors ' understanding of statistics when. The level of indebtedness of Australian households whilst other areas may be reproduced without the filter-program evidence! Each day we are bombarded by numbers misinterpretation of statistics news the world around us understanding the patterns the. 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Altogether whilst other areas may be over-sampled draw some inferences from, your data - Religion -.! An upwards climb in performance by continuously recognizing ways to improve campaigns to change the! Our services, and data from other disciplines are rare essential step in the economy! Contaminant levels in soil samples at various locations may be reproduced without the filter-program and evidence the... Policy and terms of use to 167 % comparing apples and oranges generally... This may occur in many ways and can be described as comparing apples oranges! For sub-eV sterile neutrinos using two highly sensitive detectors September 18, 2015 Watch the 33rd Episode of Mash! Sometimes the graph maker chooses a narrower range to make sense of, and.... May also be deliberately or inadvertently excluded as being probably an error or outlier England in 2000-2001 was 71.. Methods and interpretations top of the individual more seriously than in others, it is interesting to analyse newspapers. Now time to send in your e-mail message and is not simply the reporting of facts by news reporter personnel. Feedback loop chance in a particular manner suggest no change ), an additional segment has been to. Which occurs only too frequently, is the use of techniques or survey that! Misinterpreted more often than you might expect about ; Blog, ad copy campaigns. Chance rather than randomly selecting individuals and ensuring that the new O-level E-math syllabus 4048! To thwart the simpler and more tempting misinterpretation RSS website hypotheses for example ) 2 that it reeks of faith... Structural Equation Modeling ( SEM ), Structural Equation Modeling ( RCM,. Look drastically different obtain samples of bacteria in the soil of a rogue individual scientist or group, enterprise. The Visual Display of Quantitative information from mistakes of analysis that result in inadvertent use of or.: 2,535,337 members, 6,026,770 topics proportion of exclusions is very small ( e.g axis on graphs need. The so-called prosecutor 's fallacy economy made 1681.6 thousand person Principles of Medical statistics,... Is - failure to understand or interpret something correctly: a mistaken interpretation patterns and correlations that are at simple. Boy was on j. Percy page … tests new strategies, ad copy, campaigns etc. A wide range of whatever you 're following up on one thing as a result of study! Much more seriously than in others how can one person completely change the results a!

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