# POLSCI 2NN3 Lecture 17: The Politics of Numbers

## Document Summary

Students are taught the underlying logic of each measure, the formula used to compute the measure, the software commands that can extract it from the computer, and some guidelines for interpreting the numbers that result from these computations. The result is that statistical instruction tends to downplay consideration of how real-life statistics come into being. Yet all statistics are products of people"s choices and compromises, which inevitably shape, limit, and distort the outcome (joel best, more. These datasets were produced using the types of qualitative methods. In the social sciences, statistics are applied to datasets discussed this semester. Examine the dataset before analyzing it with statistics. Remember: the limitations associated with the data gathering process will be incorporated in the statistical output. Different actors will (intentionally or not) promote different operational definitions, different data gathering strategies, different statistical techniques, and therefore different conclusions.