Approaching Statistical Claims

The Financial Times discussion on Statistical Claims between Sarah O’Connor and Tim Harford show us various ways in which to approach statistical claims. First of all observe feelings, because if we don’t avoid feelings while we spread any information this can affect us. Taking feelings into consideration, this allows us to eliminate any bias we may have and make it important.

Secondly, understanding the claim, the more we understand the context and the background of the information, the easier the claim will be to build our opinion on it. In addition, Harford talked about “distinguishing between correlation and causation” as third step to approach this claims. And to look into where the statistics came from and how they are managed to catch your attention. The last advice Harford talked about was to be “curious”. When it comes to the statistical claims, people are searching quotes, claims and sources to find more for them.

Me personally, I agree with all the methods which Harford talked about specially about being curious. I feel that with using our feelings this can affect the way we talk about things. I also believe that we should be aware about what information is missing and why.

After listening to the broadcast, the way I took in statistical claims also changed. I’m trying to do every step Harford talked about because the steps are useful and they are important.