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Journal FidelCatsro's Journal: Statistics are fun 11

First question :
Would you rather speak to Hitler or saw you genitals off and break every bone in your body

Second question:
Would you rather speak to your mother or get 1,000,000,000 and save humanity from cancer.

This poll proves that most people would rather speak to Hitler than their mothers. :D I hate polls
Of course it doesn't but that is how almost all Polls work , Don't believe any of them

This discussion was created by FidelCatsro (861135) for no Foes, but now has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Statistics are fun

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  • Polls can be written well, but it's too easy to accidentally let bias ruin them with what's essentially exploit code like the thing you've just demonstrated. And when they get long and contrived like that one, it's a good sign that they've been deliberately written to produce misleading results.

    I tried to rewrite it more cleanly, but I realised that it had no point apart from producing that result. If you break it up and make it neutral, it becomes meaningless.

    • Most opinion Polls are written to give the desired answer ,Whilst that was an extreme example , it is all too easy to word things in such ways to lead the eye.
      • Oh, opinion polls. Well yeah, most opinion polls are run by things like newspapers and news channels, which are basically political agendas masquerading as news. Newspapers are especially bad, but Fox News and friends are working hard to catch up.

        My favourite one from right now is "Should Tony Blair resign?". I don't know how to make it neutral though. Maybe like this?

        What should Tony Blair do?
        [ ] Continue to lead the Labour Party
        [ ] Finish this term and then resign
        [ ] Resign as soon as possible
        [ ] Somethin

        • well, geez, I certainly don't want to talk to my mother ... I mean, it wold be kind of hard to carry on a conversation with her mouth glued shut and being 6 feet under and all ...

          On a related note:

          Q. George Bush, Dick Cheney, and Tony Blair are on a boat that sinks. Who's saved?






          . A: The WORLD!

  • I've done quite a number of phone surveys about politics, and I'm yet to be asked any kind of questions that introduce an obvious logical fallacy like the one you describe (making a connection between two unrelated but similar looking pieces of data). Serious polls (at least here in .au, where the questions asked and raw data must be made available) tend to avoid these, simply to avoid criticism of the survey technique. This may not seem important, but any survey company that regularly publishes results tha
    • ;) Comedy requires exaggeration
      • Sorry, I've been dealing with legal crap for the last couple of weeks; too much time listening to outrageous claims that have to be countered seriously really depletes the humour gland. I'll be back to my usual self once I've ground someone into fine dust.

        I think John Mortimer wrote the best explanation of biased surveys I've seen (but then, "Yes, Minister" was so accurate I sometimes question whether it really was a comedy):

        Sir Humphrey: "You know what happens: nice young lady comes up to you. Obviously yo
        • I always though Yes Pri/minister made it far more subtle and less evil heh
          Lord Humphrey was a master of Machiavellian manipulation .. like Allan B'stard
          • That's exactly what made it good, IMO: everything was plausible until the punch line. I'm sure many UK politicians saw themselves in characters and flinched more than GWB would have over "That's My Bush" for that reason; we weren't watching goofy caricatures, which are so easily dismissed by the target.

            To be honest, Sir Humphrey is one of my favourite fictional characters, and a great influence on my philosophy of life. Be impartial, do what you think is right, and if someone tries to mess you about, be nic
  • ...or get 1,000,000,000 and save humanity from cancer.

    A billion what? Fleas? Grains of sand? Mod-points?

    Please clarify. :)

    I know what you mean about surveys, though. I saw one several years ago, but the available answers were all biased in a particular direction, so I didn't care to participate. Before I trust a survey, I want to know what questions were asked, what answers were available to choose from, and how they were asked. (Not surprisingly, voice inflection on oral questions can affect the way

  • by RM6f9 ( 825298 ) *
    Hitler WAS my mother, you insensitive clod!!

    (not *too* sorry, it needed to be done)

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