Misrepresentationof Graphics and Statistics
Statisticsand graphics are used to determine the outcomes and variability ofdata through data analysis. They determine the outcome of certainoutcomes and gcan be used by decision makers to predict things andmake decisions. However, they can be used to misrepresent data andprovide wrong prediction of outcomes to meet biased needs of thosewho prepare them. Some of the statistics and graphics are biased, andcan be based on personal opinions (Ilker et al, 207). Statistics donot reflect the true picture of the variables instead they are usedjust as measures of probability to predict outcome.
Oneway that statistics can be used to misrepresent data is byintroducing systematic errors intentionally or unintentionally (Ilkeret al, 2007). Some numbers related to the data may be hidden from theusers of such statistics so that they get the wrong picture of therelationships of variables or h he predicted outcomes of the data.When users consider such statistics as facts rather than probability,they end up making wrong conclusions (Ilker et al, 2007). Forexample, I have seen this done in the media when they misrepresentthe number or trends of disease outbreak in the country. Some mediaarticles have provided statistics which predict a decline in diseaseincidences, which can be misunderstood by citizens who then believethat their cities are safe. However, cities continue experiencingincreased number of disease outbreaks despite the prediction.
Statisticsmay also be misrepresented by failing to mention meanings ofnumerical values in the statistics. Some statisticians may providewrong explanations of graphics and statistics. In this case, theusers of statistics and graphics may get the wrong picture of thevariables, and make wrong predictions and conclusions about theoutcomes of the data.
IlkerErcan, I., Yazici, B., Yang, Y., Özkay, G., Cangur, S., Ediz, S. andKan, S. (2007). Misusage of Statistics in Medical Research. EuropeanJournal of Genetic Medicine,4(3),128-134.