Explore BrainMass

Understanding statistics is important in reading research

Why is important to understand statistics in research? How can you handle statistical reporting and analyses in a research study? What type of problems could be encountered?

Solution Preview

There is a saying from someone famous (I don't recall who): There are lies, damned lies, and statistics. If you do not understand statistics, you can be lied to, and you will never realize it. There are numerous web sites which use "statistics" to prove their points. Some of them are meant to be funny, but some of them are not. One such (funny) site can be found searching "the dangers of bread" on Google. This site, meant to be funny, illustrates the fallacies that can be perpetrated using statistics. One statement they make, which is true, is that half of all children in bread-eating households score below average on standardized tests! That fact is statistically true. However, when you understand statistics, you also understand that the reverse of that fact is also true: that half of all children in bread-eating households score ABOVE average on ...

Solution Summary

Discussion of why understanding statistics is important when you are reading reports of research, and that you can be misled if you do not understand how statistical information is obtained and interpreted.