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More Damned Lies and Statistics: How Numbers Confuse Public Issues

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More Damned Lies and Statistics: How Numbers Confuse Public Issues Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In this sequel to the acclaimed Damned Lies and Statistics, which the Boston Globe said "deserves a place next to the dictionary on every school, media, and home-office desk," Joel Best continues his straightforward, lively, and humorous account of how statistics are produced, used, and misused by everyone from researchers to journalists. Underlining the importance of critical thinking in all matters numerical, Best illustrates his points with examples of good and bad statistics about such contemporary concerns as school shootings, fatal hospital errors, bullying, teen suicides, deaths at the World Trade Center, college ratings, the risks of divorce, racial profiling, and fatalities caused by falling coconuts. More Damned Lies and Statistics encourages all of us to think in a more sophisticated and skeptical manner about how statistics are used to promote causes, create fear, and advance particular points of view.

Best identifies different sorts of numbers that shape how we think about public issues: missing numbers are relevant but overlooked; confusing numbers bewilder when they should inform; scary numbers play to our fears about the present and the future; authoritative numbers demand respect they don't deserve; magical numbers promise unrealistic, simple solutions to complex problems; and contentious numbers become the focus of data duels and stat wars. The author's use of pertinent, socially important examples documents the life-altering consequences of understanding or misunderstanding statistical information. He demystifies statistical measures by explaining in straightforward prose how decisions are made about what to count and what not to count, what assumptions get made, and which figures are brought to our attention.

Best identifies different sorts of numbers that shape how we think about public issues. Entertaining, enlightening, and very timely, this book offers a basis for critical thinking about the numbers we encounter and a reminder that when it comes to the news, people count--in more ways than one.

Synopsis:

Offers an entertaining and enlightening account of how statistics are produced, used, and misused, illustrating his points with examples of good and bad statistics and underlining the importance of critical thinking about numbers.

Synopsis:

In this sequel to the acclaimed Damned Lies and Statistics, which the Boston Globe said "deserves a place next to the dictionary on every school, media, and home-office desk," Joel Best continues his straightforward, lively, and humorous account of how statistics are produced, used, and misused by everyone from researchers to journalists. Underlining the importance of critical thinking in all matters numerical, Best illustrates his points with examples of good and bad statistics about such contemporary concerns as school shootings, fatal hospital errors, bullying, teen suicides, deaths at the World Trade Center, college ratings, the risks of divorce, racial profiling, and fatalities caused by falling coconuts. More Damned Lies and Statistics encourages all of us to think in a more sophisticated and skeptical manner about how statistics are used to promote causes, create fear, and advance particular points of view.

Best identifies different sorts of numbers that shape how we think about public issues: missing numbers are relevant but overlooked; confusing numbers bewilder when they should inform; scary numbers play to our fears about the present and the future;

About the Author

Joel Best is Professor and Chair of Sociology and Criminal Justice at the University of Delaware.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Preface: People Count

1. Missing Numbers

2. Confusing Numbers

3. Scary Numbers

4. Authoritative Numbers

5. Magical Numbers

6. Contentious Numbers

7. Toward Statistical Literacy?

Notes

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780520930025
Publisher:
University of California Press
Subject:
Social Science : Sociology - General
Author:
Best, Joel
Author:
Joel Best
Author:
itative numbers</i> demand respect they don't deserve
Subject:
Sociology
Subject:
Social problems
Subject:
Social indicators
Subject:
Sociology - General
Subject:
Politics - General
Subject:
Sociology-Reference and Methodology
Subject:
main_subject
Subject:
all_subjects
Subject:
Social Science : Popular Culture - General
Publication Date:
August 2004
Binding:
eBooks
Language:
English

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Anthropology » General
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » Reference and Methodology

More Damned Lies and Statistics: How Numbers Confuse Public Issues
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Product details pages University of California Press - English 9780520930025 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Offers an entertaining and enlightening account of how statistics are produced, used, and misused, illustrating his points with examples of good and bad statistics and underlining the importance of critical thinking about numbers.
"Synopsis" by , In this sequel to the acclaimed Damned Lies and Statistics, which the Boston Globe said "deserves a place next to the dictionary on every school, media, and home-office desk," Joel Best continues his straightforward, lively, and humorous account of how statistics are produced, used, and misused by everyone from researchers to journalists. Underlining the importance of critical thinking in all matters numerical, Best illustrates his points with examples of good and bad statistics about such contemporary concerns as school shootings, fatal hospital errors, bullying, teen suicides, deaths at the World Trade Center, college ratings, the risks of divorce, racial profiling, and fatalities caused by falling coconuts. More Damned Lies and Statistics encourages all of us to think in a more sophisticated and skeptical manner about how statistics are used to promote causes, create fear, and advance particular points of view.

Best identifies different sorts of numbers that shape how we think about public issues: missing numbers are relevant but overlooked; confusing numbers bewilder when they should inform; scary numbers play to our fears about the present and the future;

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