Suffolkmaths Homepage

Misleading Data

"Lies, damned lies, and statistics" is part of a phrase attributed to Benjamin Disraeli. " The statement refers to the persuasive power of numbers, the use of statistics to bolster weak arguments, and the tendency of people to disparage statistics that do not support their positions.

Statistics in the Media

In their book The tiger that isn't Michael Blastland and Andrew Dilnot have a look at numbers in the media and discover that while they can be made to back up all kinds of non-sensical claims, it often only takes a little maths to unravel faulty arguments. In this article they give us a taster of the book - Click here

Perception of Risk [NRICH]

Would you prefer a game with a 90% chance of winning, or one with a 10% chance of losing? You might scratch your head and say it's the
same thing, and you'd be right, but research has shown that people's perception of risk is surprisingly vulnerable to the way it's
presented. In this article David Spiegelhalter and Mike Pearson explore how risk can be spun and there's an interactive animation for
you to have a go yourself - Click here

Graphical Data Designed to Mislead

Task and Resources looking at the use and abuse of Statistics -

Misleading Graphs and Data 1.ppt
Misleading Graphs and Data 2.ppt
Misleading Graphs and Data 3.ppt
Misleading Graphs and Data 4.ppt
Misleading Graphs and Data 5.ppt
Misleading Graphs and Data 6 and 12 Puzzles.ppt
BBC News Report on Child Wellbeing in UK
Examples of Misleading Interpretations.doc
Ideas for Discussion.doc
Misleading Calculations Activity.doc
Misleading Graphs.xls
Standards Unit Activity on Averages.pdf
Standards Unit Interpreting Graphs.pdf
Understanding Uncertainty Website

How Statistics can be Misunderstood

This Word document looks in a little more depth about how Statistics can be used to mislead or can be misunderstood:

Women are Better Drivers Than Men
Toddlers who Attend Pre-school Exhibit Aggressive Behaviour
First World War Head Injuries                                   

Click here for the document

Unfair Sampling

Let's look at some realistic cases where unfair sampling might lead to false conclusions - Click here

Bowland Resources

Water Availability Case Study requires students to present a reasoned argument why each of three countries should have more Water Aid using a a few pieces of data. 

YouTube Clips

Crime in Alberqueque - Is it as bad as it seems? - Click here
Friends - Causality - Click here