Utterly Meaningless » Blog Archive » (DUMB) STATISTICS 101

    Filed at 7:25 am under by dcobranchi

    OK, class. As an exercise, please comment on the fundamental statistical flaw in these two short paragraphs.

    Several national studies done over the past decade show a direct link between youngsters’ reading abilities and well-staffed libraries with up-to-date materials.

    Three studies released in 2000 showed that students in schools with well-maintained library collections and trained library staffs performed better on standardized tests, especially reading.

    Excellent job, class. Yes, it is very obvious that Erin Jordan has never taken statistics. But, you’ll be surprised at how often you find the correlation-causation error in the popular press. And, no, I’m not aware of any negative correlation between IQ and propensity to become a reporter. That’d make a good research project. Class dismissed.

    One Response to “(DUMB) STATISTICS 101”

    Comment by
    judy aron
    March 30th, 2004
    at 11:17 pm

    This is so funny! So just by stacking libraries, kids will miraculously be able to read the books that are there? Must be osmosis..
    and just because there many books doesn’t mean the kids will actually read them…