How to Lie with Statistics
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First published in 1954, this book remains relevant as a wake-up call. The author warns us that the language of statistics, so appealing in a fact-minded culture, is employed to sensationalize, inflate, confuse, mislead, and oversimplify. Statistics are rife with opportunities for misuse, from "gee-whiz graphs" that add nonexistent drama to trends, to "results" detached from their method and meaning, to statistics' ultimate bugaboo--faulty cause-and-effect reasoning. The author's tone is tolerant and amused, but no-nonsense. Like a lecturing father, he expects you to learn something useful from the book, and start applying it every day. Never be a sucker again, he cries! Although many of the examples used in the book are charmingly dated, the cautions are timeless.
"How to Lie with Statistics' is a small, paperback book that was originally written in 1954. It has been reprinted at least thirty-six times according to my copy of the book. The author introduces us to all of the shady ways that statistics can be interpreted to say whatever one desires. In a very humorous way, he talks about how advertisers carefully choose just the right numbers, and manipulate those numbers to enhance their products. Advertisers are not the only culprits targeted by Mr. Huff. Pollsters and politicians are equally exposed. While teens can read this on their own, it is the type of book that is fun when shared out loud. Watch out for a few references to the Kinsey sexual research. These can easily be skipped. Also, be aware that data has not been updated since the original printing. Even so, the authorís point still comes across clearly - we have to be alert and thinking logically when we evaluate information, such as that in advertisements and commercials, that has been designed to influence our behavior. . ." from Cathy Duffy at www.CathyDuffyReviews.com - my favorite source for online home school information.