Chapter 5: Critical Thinking about Numbers
• Using numbers and numerical concepts to characterize things.
• Encodes what`s important about the given information.
• Interpreted through
o Ordinal numbers
• However in all cases:
o There is lost information
o Misleading suggestions
o Metric and underlying measurements are intelligibly mathematized.
• Not normally an absolute number
• Meaningfulness depends in part on the size of the absolute values involved.
• Cannot be straightforwardly combined with other percentages, without knowing
and controlling for differences in absolute values.
• They are not raw score unless the data happens to be out of 100, but are
representative of the raw score. Example 70% represents the raw score of 21/30
• Used to quantify values by how they compare to other values. To score in the 90
percentile on attest, for example, is to have a raw score better than 90% of the
• Percentiles are inherently comparative within a group. • Always question: what informat