Data Torturing and the Misuse of Statistical Tools

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Description

Statistical concepts, methods, and tools are often used in the implementation of statistical thinking. Unfortunately, statistical tools are all too often misused by not applying them in the context of statistical thinking that focuses on processes, variation, and data. The consequences of this misuse may be ''data torturing'' or going beyond reasonable interpretation of the facts due to a misunderstanding of the processes creating the data or the misinterpretation of variability in the data. In the hope of averting future misuse and data torturing, examples are provided where the application of common statistical tools, in the absence of statistical thinking, ... continued below

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11 p.

Creation Information

Abate, Marcey L. August 16, 1999.

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This article is part of the collection entitled: Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports and was provided by UNT Libraries Government Documents Department to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 22 times . More information about this article can be viewed below.

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  • Sandia National Laboratories
    Publisher Info: Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM, and Livermore, CA (United States)
    Place of Publication: Albuquerque, New Mexico

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Description

Statistical concepts, methods, and tools are often used in the implementation of statistical thinking. Unfortunately, statistical tools are all too often misused by not applying them in the context of statistical thinking that focuses on processes, variation, and data. The consequences of this misuse may be ''data torturing'' or going beyond reasonable interpretation of the facts due to a misunderstanding of the processes creating the data or the misinterpretation of variability in the data. In the hope of averting future misuse and data torturing, examples are provided where the application of common statistical tools, in the absence of statistical thinking, provides deceptive results by not adequately representing the underlying process and variability. For each of the examples, a discussion is provided on how applying the concepts of statistical thinking may have prevented the data torturing. The lessons learned from these examples will provide an increased awareness of the potential for many statistical methods to mislead and a better understanding of how statistical thinking broadens and increases the effectiveness of statistical tools.

Physical Description

11 p.

Notes

OSTI as DE00010185

Medium: P; Size: 11 pages

Source

  • Annual Quality Congress, Indianapolis, IN (US), 05/08/2000--05/10/2000

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  • Report No.: SAND99-2178C
  • Grant Number: AC04-94AL85000
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 10185
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc624530

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • August 16, 1999

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • June 16, 2015, 7:43 a.m.

Description Last Updated

  • April 6, 2017, 7:25 p.m.

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Abate, Marcey L. Data Torturing and the Misuse of Statistical Tools, article, August 16, 1999; Albuquerque, New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc624530/: accessed November 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.