Q:

What are examples of misuse of statistics?

A:

Quick Answer

According to an article from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, one way statistics are misused is when businesses infer false information from data gained during the course of their business, creating errors that cost time and money. Errors like this arise when an entity performs statistical research but fails to address all the components involved in the subject they are researching.

Continue Reading
What are examples of misuse of statistics?
Credit: NYC Media Lab CC-BY-SA 2.0

Full Answer

The misuse of statistics can be accidental or purposeful. Those with malicious intent sometimes misuse statistics in order to mislead their audience about a subject, a tactic that creates vast social issues and misunderstandings that last for years.

Misusing statistics is a broader problem than being a tool for the malicious. Scientists and other individuals that rely heavily on analysis and research often find themselves fooled by misused statistics. This creates errors in their experiments or other works, and leads to problems both minor and major.

Statistics are sometimes cherry picked for positive results, creating a false image of the final product. A survey that creates biased opinions about a given subject produces negative results. Other times, if negative results are treated as inconclusive, unless specific reasons are given then the statistics are skewed to seem positive.

Learn more about Statistics

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is an easy-to-understand overview of inferential statistics?

    A:

    Statisticians use inferential statistics to reach conclusions that extend beyond the specific data studied, such as when using sample data to determine how a larger population might behave or respond to a specific stimulus. Inferential statistics can also compare the average performance between two groups, often through a device called the t-test.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the purpose of inferential statistics?

    A:

    Inferential statistics is a branch of statistics that can be used when researchers and mathematicians want to attempt to extrapolate on and reach conclusions that extend beyond the raw data itself. While a study only uses a small sample of the total population it is studying, inferential statistics can be used to attempt to estimate traits and thought patterns of behavior among the population as a whole.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the purpose of statistics?

    A:

    The purpose of statistics is to allow sets of data to be compared so that analysts can look for meaningful trends and changes. Analysts review the data so that they can reach conclusions regarding its meaning. Statistics allow people to see how things are or are not correlated and how a change in one variable might affect another.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is a box-and-whisker plot?

    A:

    The box-and-whisker plot is a technique in statistics that graphically shows the distribution of a set of data involving the minimum and maximum values, as well as the first, second and third quartiles. The plot is typically drawn using a number line.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore