Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics

I discovered these graphs from a tweet by Jon Walton:


I will be using (some) of these for teaching AQA AS Geography Unit 2 this September.

When researching the quote “Lies, Damned Lies, and statistics” for this post it seems that the origin is slightly uncertain. It is first used by Mark Twain though he attributes it to Disraeli (19th Century British Prime Minister); however there is no known record of Disraeli saying it.

It is important for students to be critical when analysing data; this is particularly true when using software for data analysis  Just because you can make a graph showing the relationship or make a map showing the relationship it does not mean there is a real relationship. It is important to consider the theory behind the claim.

Click on the graph below to be taken to the website with more graphs on. (I am not sure I will be using the third graph in my teaching though).

Screen Shot 2013-08-10 at 21.36.49


This tweet from Sue Cowley is on a similar vain: