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Statistics are a double-edged sword. On one side, statistics make it possible to either prove or infer things using data. They can be a great tool for convincing people of an argument. When someone tells you that it is hot in Arizona, you might discount just how hot it is, but when they say that the average high and low temperatures in July are 106 and 83, you get the idea about just how sweltering it can be. On the flip side, statistics can be manipulated and used in ways that mislead consumers and spread false information.
In the current era, we must be more media literate ever. There are more sources of information than ever, but that also means that you have to be more careful about what you believe. People have been posting satirical headlines from The Onion as if they were true stories for years, but now there are Onion clones and sites that are like Onion clones without even trying to be. With private statistics tutors, you can make sure that you are not falling for bad statistics in the future.
One thing that you do not always hear when someone quotes a statistic is the methodology for how they came to a conclusion. If you make a claim like “20% of students do not brush their teeth, a sample that only includes the five students you know and confirms your theory because one of the five does not brush will be inherently biased. That 20% claim is meaningless because you have no authority to make any such claim, but you are making it anyway.
A Reddit community devoted to bad stats exposes different cases where people use data to come to misleading conclusions. For example, one headline reads “Overwatch Toxicity Has Declined By 40% Since the Introduction of Endorsements, Claims Blizzard.” Blizzard, the company that made Overwatch and runs its servers, had come under fire for the negative tone to many matches. The anonymity of gaming profiles and ability to speak to other players made it easy for people to say terrible things to each other with very little consequence. Parents were understandably concerned that, while you can rate games to limit which age groups are allowed to play, the online space was unregulated and has been traditionally toxic, especially to women. Blizzard’s response was to create a system of endorsements that reward you for showing positive traits like sportsmanship or strong teamwork. The only way to reverse the negative reputation at this point is with proof that things have changed, which is why Blizzard makes these kinds of claims. If you are a parent who sees this, you might consider letting your child play Overwatch again.
But what does it really mean that “Toxicity Has Declined By 40%?” This is where methodology matters, as quantifying toxicity in this way is confusing. How did they measure toxicity before? Was there a measure of number of swear words during games? Who was recording this data? Assuming that they do not have the capability to have a computer accurately analyze communication during games, which would be very unlikely that they do, how could they know the amount of toxicity before or after. It is nice that they care about limiting toxicity, but this feels like lip service meant to convince consumers with biased data. It is also an abuse of the concepts in probability.
When you search for statistics tutors near me, you get people that will teach you about ethics in business.
There is a classic scene at the end of the movie Billy Madison that was the first time that I learned about business ethics. In the film, Billy, a spoiled hotel chain heir in his 20s that dropped out of school, is forced to graduate high school in 24 weeks to prove to his dad that he is ready to take over the company. Meanwhile, Eric Gordon is a shark in the company that hates Billy and believes that he has earned the right to take over the company based on the merits of his work. In the end, they are put in a head-to-head academic decathlon that ends with a public speaking section. Eric, the unethical businessman, gets the question, “What is business ethics?” He is not able to answer and pulls out a rifle to win by force.
For some, the concept of business ethics is foreign, but it is something that we need to teach people, so they understand that unethical practices will come back to hurt you or leave unintended damage along the way. Our private statistics tutoring teaches you the importance of balancing your own success with being a good citizen of the world.
You can easily cut corners in statistics and get away with it. Most people just like to see a number that is boiled down for them because they do not have expertise in the field, but want to get some understanding of the information. Unfortunately, that means that lots of people are not going to look into statistics. They are going to let things slip and that hurts us all.
Another example of bad statistics that I learned to notice from the guidance of educators is bad grouping in samples. You might collect statistics that include the individual ages for every data point, but, when you present that data, you are probably going to combine data into age groups to make it more manageable to read and discuss. Crafting those age groups to support your conclusions is a way you can make the same date read very differently. For example, an example from Reddit showed five different age groups: 0, 1-19, 20-64, 65-79, and 80+. The groups have no consistency in the spread for each group. 1-19 is 19 years, while 20-64 covers 45 years. Not to mention the fact that the 20-34 group probably has more in common with the 1-19 group than it does with the 35-64 group. In addition, 0 years old is so narrow and silly that it is meaningless.
Searching for statistics tutoring near me should net you options that will prepare you to create better-designed studies of your own and spot these misleading stats in the future.
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