Misuse of Statistics

It's funny sometimes when you read a few statistical facts and wonder if they really can be true. Statistics does usually have a very powerful impact and more often than not, can create an impression on our minds of certain things. However, sometimes these so-called statistical calculations and discoveries need to be taken with a pinch of salt. Given below are few examples of where statistics has been grossly misused:

Children with bigger feet spell better?

Quite astonished? Don't be! This was the result of a survey about measuring factors affecting the spelling ability of children. When the final analysis came about, it was noted that children with bigger feet possessed superior spelling skills! Upon further analysis you will find that older children had bigger feet and quite certainly, older children would normally possess better spellings than their younger counterparts!

States with higher divorce rates have lower death rates!

So should you shift? States with higher divorce rates were States which had a larger share of young population, which would quite obviously mean lower death rates!

These are just two examples but they should suffice to make the point that 'statistics can be grossly misused and misleading'. When looking at statistics, you need to look at all factors being taken into account and the correlation between each factor. Jumping to startling conclusions can be amusing and may even interest people but they wouldn't be fulfilling the very purpose of statistics and statistical findings.


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