STA 210 Lecture 3: Number Sense Part l and ll

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16 Feb 2017
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Number Sense Notes Part 1 and 2
Inference: the process of reasoning from the unknown to the unknown
Example: a jury considering evidence and inferring about guilt of defendant
Example: a politician looking at the poll results and deciding whether she has a chance in
the election
Human Inference: an off-hand phrase taken here to mean “inferences we make from statistical
constructs like charts, graphs, numerical summaries”
Example: The Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows sells 8.3 million in the first 24 hours,
which is more than 50,000 a minute. Our human inference would conclude that the book
is incredibly popular
Decimal Dilemmas
Data/statements can be completely wrong due to an error of a misplaced decimal
Deceptive Displays
Graphs can give us a different illusion than what is actually meant to be said
The human inference could infer something much different
Impact Graphing
Graphs don’t always show you the increase/decrease...just the steady trend
Also, the spacing can be off on the axis, making the data steeper or not
Numeracy tip: Pay close attention to who is being quoted and if the numbers are
reasonable/realistic
Tip #2: Rates can be very useful, but can also be deceptive.
Read all statistical arguments critically
Benchmarks to Know
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