Thomas Smith, Ph.D
Mark Gaulter, Ph. D.
Terry Sincich, Ph.D
University of South Florida St. Petersburg
In today's society, it is impossible to escape the power of statistics, and most of the times statistics are accepted without much thought of how they came about - or what could be wrong with them. Consider some of the statistics referenced during the course of a normal day. Turn on the television, and the weatherman claims the chance of rain is at 80%. After deciding to trust this statistic and grabbing an umbrella, you open up the newspaper, and the headline reads "President's Approval Rating Climbs to 66%." On your way to work, the traffic announcer informs you of a crash on the highway, resulting in about a forty-five minute delay. You trust the statistic and take a longer route to work, because you will still get there faster than waiting in traffic an extra forty-five minutes. Statistics are everywhere, and they are usually trusted without a second thought.
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Fulp, William James, "No need to lie, just use statistics : the power and politics of statistics" (2004). USF St. Petersburg campus Honors Program Theses (Undergraduate). 67.