News & Announcements

BBC Six-Part Primer on Understanding Statistics in the News

Last year, the BBC ran a six-part primer by Michael Blastland on understanding statistics in the news. Blastland takes on the media’s handling of surveys/polls, counting, percentages, averages, causation and doubt. “Wouldn't it be good,” Blastland said, “to have the mental agility to separate the wheat from the chaff?” He then proceeds, in six weekly articles, to point out the obvious vs. the correct ways to interpret the data.

Follow the links below to the BBC web site to read Michael Blastland’s six-part primer on understanding statistics in the news.

Surveys: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/7542886.stm

Counting: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/7554022.stm

Percentages: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/7568929.stm

Averages: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/7581120.stm

Causation: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/7592579.stm

Doubt: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/7605118.stm