full transcript

From the Ted Talk by Mona Chalabi: 3 ways to spot a bad statistic

Unscramble the Blue Letters

I get it, it's frustrating. If you want to test a statistic that comes from a private company, you can buy the face cream for you and a bunch of friends, test it out, if it doesn't work, you can say the numbers were worng. But how do you qsituoen government stictaists? You just keep chienkcg everything. Find out how they collected the numbers. Find out if you're seeing everything on the chart you need to see. But don't give up on the numbers altogether, because if you do, we'll be making public policy dincioses in the dark, using nothing but private interests to guide us.

Open Cloze

I get it, it's frustrating. If you want to test a statistic that comes from a private company, you can buy the face cream for you and a bunch of friends, test it out, if it doesn't work, you can say the numbers were _____. But how do you ________ government __________? You just keep ________ everything. Find out how they collected the numbers. Find out if you're seeing everything on the chart you need to see. But don't give up on the numbers altogether, because if you do, we'll be making public policy _________ in the dark, using nothing but private interests to guide us.

Solution

  1. decisions
  2. statistics
  3. question
  4. checking
  5. wrong

Original Text

I get it, it's frustrating. If you want to test a statistic that comes from a private company, you can buy the face cream for you and a bunch of friends, test it out, if it doesn't work, you can say the numbers were wrong. But how do you question government statistics? You just keep checking everything. Find out how they collected the numbers. Find out if you're seeing everything on the chart you need to see. But don't give up on the numbers altogether, because if you do, we'll be making public policy decisions in the dark, using nothing but private interests to guide us.

Frequently Occurring Word Combinations

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
unemployment rate 4
everyday lives 2
government statistics 2
spot bad 2
bad statistics 2
political polls 2
academic study 2
decimal places 2
show people 2
swimming pool 2
holy war 2

Important Words

  1. altogether
  2. bunch
  3. buy
  4. chart
  5. checking
  6. collected
  7. company
  8. cream
  9. dark
  10. decisions
  11. face
  12. find
  13. friends
  14. frustrating
  15. give
  16. government
  17. guide
  18. interests
  19. making
  20. numbers
  21. policy
  22. private
  23. public
  24. question
  25. statistic
  26. statistics
  27. test
  28. work
  29. wrong