Statistics are often presented to add credibility to an argument or advice. This is particularly evident in television advertisements, news articles, and social media posts where many of these values do not represent careful statistical analyses and can be misleading for the viewers. As a statistics student, you are already aware of how to explore and interpret data and are knowledgeable in ways that data can be manipulated or misrepresented when presented to an audience.

For this assignment, you are asked to find and critically examine three different examples where a claim has been made with a statistical basis. Choose examples that include some use of graphical presentation of the data and provide your answers in full sentences. The examples must represent the following:

1. A problematic statistical claim that has been made in an advertisement. (15 marks)

a. What was the claim? Provide the text or link to the ad. For a video that cannot

be added through a link please describe in detail and/or attach screenshots

where appropriate.

b. Describe the data and the potential sources for the data.

c. Describe the statistics that were calculated or inferred.

d. Describe the statistical conclusion drawn. If you assume that the stated statistic

is true, in what ways are the conclusions they reach about the data problematic?

How could this data influence the intended audience?

e. What other questions do you have based on the data reported?

f. What ways would you recommend improving the presentation of this statistic

(include a recreation of any figures that were problematic or create new figures that would help clarify the claim)?

2. A problematic statistical claim that has been made in a news article. (15 marks)

a. What was the claim? Provide the text or link to the ad. For a video that cannot

be added through a link please describe in detail and/or attach screenshots

where appropriate.

b. Describe the data and the potential sources for the data.

c. Describe the statistics that were calculated or inferred.

d. Describe the statistical conclusion drawn. If you assume that the stated statistic

is true, in what ways are the conclusions they reach about the data problematic? How could this data influence the intended audience?

e. What other questions do you have based on the data reported?

f. What ways would you recommend improving the presentation of this statistic

(include a recreation of any figures that were problematic or create new figures that would help clarify the claim)?

3. A “good” statistic used in an advertisement or news article. (12 marks)

a. What was the claim? (If possible, provide the text or link to the ad. For a video

that cannot be added through a link please describe in detail).

b. Describe the data and describe potential sources for the data.

c. Describe the statistics that were calculated or inferred.

d. Describe the statistical conclusion drawn. How could this data influence the

intended audience?

e. Explain why the data is complete and why the interpretation of the data was

done appropriately.

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