Alex Lazarev

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Statistics can be very helpful in providing a powerful interpretation of reality but also can be used to distort our understanding. Discuss some of the ways in which statistics can be used or misused in different Areas of Knowledge to assist and mislead us, and how we can determine whether to accept the statistical evidence that is presented.

By: - Alex'Lazarev Student number: 2111-002 IB ТОК Essay 02/03/06

According to the definition, "statistics is a mathematical science pertaining to collection, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of data." - (From wikipedia.com) Nowadays, statistical data is a very important and useful source of knowledge. Today you can find statistics everywhere: in business, psychology, sports, health, law, etc. Knowing how to use and interpret statistical data and understanding of its origins can be a very helpful tool that helps us to deal with everyday informational attacks. But statistics can also mislead us and distort our understanding of reality. The purpose of this essay is to deduce some of the possible ways in which statistical data can be used and misused in different areas of knowledge. The understanding of the statistical data is a very important step in order to know how to interpret the encountered statistics. The understanding of the statistics is tightly related with personal perceptions of each individual. Lets take, for example, statistics in soccer. FC Barcelona and FC Real Madrid are the most popular and strongest football clubs of Spain. Throughout a hundred year history of the existence of the Spanish Football League Real Madrid had won the national championship 25 times, while Barcelona won only 15 times. This indicates on the fact that Real Madrid is a greater football club then Barcelona. But fans of Barcelona do not agree with such interpretation of that statistical evidence. They think that despite the fact that Real Madrid had won more...
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