Sunday, March 13, 2011

Book Review: How to Lie with Statistics

I Breezed through this book pretty quickly, but still consider it time poorly spent. I bought it on impulse from Amazon based on title alone and while the subject matter was what I expected, it was handled at too elementary a level, and with examples so dated that I can't even recommend it for beginners.

The book is an overview of the most elementary use of statistics and how they can be misused out of ignorance or malice. Mean vs median, graph doesn't start at zero, "four out of five dentists recommend...", I'd imagine that most of these are obvious to anyone over the age of fifteen. However the case examples and language are so dated (the book was originally written in the fifties), that I can't recommend it for someone under that age either.

In short, not recommended.

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