Although many of the examples used in the book are charmingly dated, the cautions are timeless. Statistics are rife with opportunities for misuse, from "gee-whiz graphs" that add nonexistent drama to trends, to "results" detached from their method and meaning, to statistics' ultimate bugaboo--faulty cause-and-effect reasoning. Huff's tone is tolerant and amused, but no-nonsense. Like a lecturing father, he expects you to learn something useful from the book, and start applying it every day. Never be a sucker again, he cries!
Even if you can't find a source of demonstrable bias, allow yourself some degree of skepticism about the results as long as there is a possibility of bias somewhere. There always is.
Read How to Lie with Statistics. Whether you encounter statistics at work, at school, or in advertising, you'll remember its simple lessons. Don't be terrorized by numbers, Huff implores. "The fact is that, despite its mathematical base, statistics is as much an art as it is a science." --Therese Littleton...Continua
Funny and illuminating. It illustrates ways in which statistics are calculated and presented that are, at the best, ambiguous. And consequently gives you some tools to always question what statistics seem to "demonstrate".
still a great and usefull book to read
Although this booklet was first published over 50 years ago - and the income or demographic figures in the examples do show their age - its explanation of how to look at statistics is still valid. I totally concur in the foreword: professional statisticians deplore the misuse of statistics as heartily as anyone alive. Count me in, I'm one of them....Continua
First published in 1954 (!), the book contains outdated figures for the examples. For instance, the annual salary surveyed with Yale graduates is laughingly small in today's perspective. However, the points illustrated are very likely still valid nowadays.
"The secret language of statistics, so appealing in a fact-minded culture, is employed to sensationalize, inflate, confuse, and oversimplify," warns the author....Continua