Statistics, Polls & Surveys 
HERE'S A HUMOROUS EXAMPLE OF AN ABSOLUTELY FACTUAL SET OF STATISTICS AND HOW THEY ARE OFTEN USED:
         "A child can go only so far in life without potty training. It is not mere coincidence that six of the last seven presidents were potty trained, not to mention nearly half of the nation's state legislators." -- Dave Barry
Here's how to slant a poll if you're a news broadcaster with an agenda.
Here's how to slant one if you're a giant special-interest group with an actually counter-productive agenda.
Here's how to manufacture a set of fraudulent statistics so you can report them just in time to sway voters.
See how to present statistical half-truths way out of context here.
If your intent is to mislead, don't forget to use euphemisms.
"But who’s doing the random samples in Somalia and Tajikistan and Ecuador?" -- Christopher Hitchens
Have you ever noticed that opinion polls ask the opinions of people who have no expertise in the subject on which they are being polled and publish these opinions as if they were gospel truth instead of group ignorance?” -- a reader of Thomas Sowell's, here
Stats Blog
See: "There is an old saying in statistics that if you torture the data enough, you can always make it confess" here, and how Al Franken perpetrates that kind of torture here.
Find an explanation of "statistics rage" or "battered stats (BS) syndrome" HERE.
Cooking the Books on a survey of scientists
   "Cooking the Figures" by Orson Scott Card
Another example or two or three
Mutant Statistics
Amazingly Stupid Statistics
Dubious Data Awards 2000
Here's an example of how graphs and charts can mislead.
"Statistics are no substitute for judgment." -- Henry Clay
"There are three kinds of lies: Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics." -- Benjamin Disraeli 
"There are liars, damned liars, statisticians, politicians and pollsters." -- warlock
Damn Lies, Statistics and Doomsday
Learn how much use Mark Twain had for statistics HERE.
"Never — and I mean never — blindly trust the statistics you read [or hear] about the economy." -- Don Luskin, HERE
"73% of statistics are made up on the spot." -- Rich Sinda
“Polls on unfamiliar issues are notoriously volatile, and results can shift wildly when questions are worded slightly differently.” -- Michael Barone
A ONE-WORD DIFFERENCE
John Murtha was given a lot of attention when he quoted a poll that reported 80% of Americans want us out of Iraq.  But a week later, ABC ran the same poll with one new wordDo you want us out of Iraq NOW?  This time only 29% said yes. 
Don't trust numbers with a political agenda.
Don't trust journalists with a political agenda.


New: When Voters Lie

About Polling

About the Way Statistics are Used

A Poll-taker's Bibliography

2 problems endemic to polling

Survey.net

Survey Software

Polling Do's and Don'ts

For the Statistically Perplexed

U.S. Census Bureau Statistics & Subjects A to Z

Deliberative Polling

Consumerviews
BIG FAT LIARS
How Politicians, Corporations and the Media 
Use Science and Statistics to Manipulate the Public
by Morris E. Chafetz M.D.
How to Lie With Statistics
by Darrell Huff

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

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


"I know statistically if you don't get married, you're less likely to get divorced." -- Craig Ferguson

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