There Are Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics

Two news stories caught my eye – at first I thought one was a joke, but no.  From the Daily Mail:

Drinking water does not ease dehydration, the European Union has ruled – and anyone who disagrees faces two years in prison.

Well, scientists say it so it must be true.

And then this story from the National Post:

In “False-Positive Psychology: Undisclosed Flexibility in Data Collection and Analysis Allows Presenting Anything as Significant,” two scientists from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, and a colleague from Berkeley, argue that modern academic psychologists have so much flexibility with numbers that they can literally prove anything.

In effect turning the weapons of statistical analysis against their own side, the trio managed to to prove something demonstrably false, and thereby cast a wide shadow of doubt on any researcher who claims his findings are “statistically significant.”

Hm…

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About Mystic Cowgirl

I worked overseas in the aid game for longer than I'd like to admit and learned several important things: 1) Third World countries aren't poor because America is rich. They're impoverished due to socialist governments that provide neither rule of law nor basic infrastructures; 2) These socialist governments redistribute wealth from taxpayers to the government workers. There's no benefit to the poor or downtrodden, and certainly not to the general welfare in terms of infrastructure improvements. 3) America is moving toward the Third World model. Rule of law has been subverted because equality under the law is disappearing as special interests carve out exemptions to regulations and special favors under the law. The redistribution of wealth to government began decades ago -- total compensation for government employees now outpaces salaries in the private sector.
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