Do numbers lie?
This is kind of like asking " is there a such thing as a computer error?"
OMG - yes! "There are lies. Then there are damned lies. And then there are statistics (numbers)."
There is a wonderful book called "How to Lie with Statistics" that shows the way numbers can be used to support falsehood. It was published in 1954, as a warning to teach people to be careful of reading statistics. Unfortunately, it is a manual for almost everything written with stats these days. My mother was in the field of survey research, and efforts (even by the US government) to obtain and present real, unbiased data ended in the 1980s. Now, most people don't even know the difference. (See my brother's book, Business Statistics Demystified, for more.)
The opposite of a lie is the truth, and the truth can be represented in numbers. But people have to want the truth, and then be willing to prevent or eliminate all kinds of error, and then know how to prevent and eliminate error. This is a field called Quality Management, now passe. (See my book, Quality Management Demystified, and my hubs on CMM and 6 Sigma for more.)
by David Stillwell6 years ago
Has anyone, here, ever read the book, How To Lie With Statistics?It is political season again... sigh.... and the graphs and the statistics will start to appear in a blizzard of degrading informative points that embed...
by aoiffe3798 years ago
A friend got a ride with me and when she reached home,she discovered that her son[6 yrs] was 'sweet' with cologne, apparently belonging to his father.She asked him about the cologne,where he got it from,if it belonged...
Copyright © 2018 HubPages Inc. and respective owners.
Other product and company names shown may be trademarks of their respective owners.
HubPages® is a registered Service Mark of HubPages, Inc.
HubPages and Hubbers (authors) may earn revenue on this page based on affiliate relationships and advertisements with partners including Amazon, Google, and others.