Friday, June 20, 2008

4 out of 5 librarians agree...

How often have you found comfort in a statistic? Those lovely figures and charts that accompany an article or advertisement automatically add some credibility. After all, numbers don't lie, right? Unfortunately, statistics can easily be manipulated to show just part of the story. Darrell Huff's 1950s classic How to Lie with Statistics offers insight into this dastardly trickery to give you the edge. Biased samples, deceptive graphs, and scientifically insignificant results are just a few of the techniques Huff reveals in an affable, straightforward way. Given the original publication date, you may find the dated examples amusing. Nevertheless, the concepts are relevant and understanding them is essential to being an informed consumer.

APL has other related titles available for check out as well as a new Finding Statistics Research Guide, which provides reliable resources.

Damned Lies and Statistics: Untangling Numbers from the Media, Politicians, and Activists

More Damned Lies and Statistics: How Numbers Confuse Public Issues

Chance, Luck, and Statistics

Statistics You Can't Trust: A Friendly Guide to Clear Thinking about Statistics in Everyday Life

The Data Game [Electronic Resource]: Controversies in Social Science Statistics

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