Sunday, June 01, 2014
Apparently nothing happened today.
A perfect article for my Statistics students as we study correlation.
Prove Anything With Statistics Using Spurious Correlations [Weird & Wonderful Web]
Mark Twain once said, “There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.” The point being that statistics can be used to prove anything, whether they’re made up on the spot or generated by real data.
You don’t have to take my word for it either, as a website called Spurious Correlations perfectly demonstrates how statistics can be bent and shaped to suit a particular bias.
… Spurious Correlations is the brainchild of Tyler Vigen, a criminology student at Harvard Law School. Vigen is fascinated by empirical research, so he created a simple website dedicated to comparing variables, and how closely they correlate with each other.
There is a new one of these Spurious Correlations posted to the site every day, with over 24,000 posted to date. As well as those generated automatically, visitors can discover their own by selecting two different datasets to compare with one another.
The money spent on pets in the U.S. correlates with the number of lawyers in California.
The divorce rate in Maine correlates with the per capita consumption of margarine in the U.S.