Stat-spotting : a field guide to identifying dubious data / Joel Best.

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Bibliographic Details
Main Author: Best, Joel
Language:English
Published: Berkeley : University of California Press, [2008], ©2008.
Subjects:
Physical Description:132 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Format: Book
Contents:
  • pt. 1. Getting started
  • A. Spotting questionable numbers
  • B. Background
  • B.1. Statistical benchmarks
  • B.2. Severity and frequency
  • pt. 2. Varieties of dubious data
  • C. Blunders
  • C.1. The slippery decimal point
  • C.2. Botched translations
  • C.3. Misleading graphs
  • C.4. Careless calculations
  • D. Sources : who counted - and why?
  • D.1. Big round numbers
  • D.2. Hyperbole
  • D.3. Shocking claims
  • D.4. Naming the problem
  • E. Definitions : what did they count?
  • E.1. Broad definitions
  • E.2. Expanding definitions
  • E.3. Changing definitions
  • E.4. The uncounted
  • F. Measurements : how did they count?
  • F.1. Creating measures
  • F.2. Odd units of analysis
  • F.3. Loaded questions
  • F.4. Raising the bar
  • F.5. Technical measures
  • G. Packaging : what are they telling us?
  • G.1. Impressive formats
  • G.2. Misleading samples
  • G.3. Convenient time frames
  • G.4. Peculiar percentages
  • G.5. Selective comparisons
  • G.6. Statistical milestones
  • G.7. Averages
  • G.8. Epidemics
  • G.9. Correlations
  • G.10. Discoveries
  • H. Debates : what if they disagree?
  • H.1. Causality debates
  • H.2. Equality debates
  • H.3. Policy debates
  • pt. 3. Stat-spotting on your own
  • I. Summary : Common signs of dubious data
  • J. Better data : some characteristics
  • K. Afterword : If you had no idea things were that bad, they probably aren't
  • L. Suggestions for those who want to continue stat-spotting
  • Acknowledgments
  • Notes
  • Index.