Tag Archives: royal statistical society

Reasons the British public are so often wrong (and suggestions for what to do about it)

Earlier this week, I set readers a quiz — The British public, eh? What do they know? — based on research undertaken by Ipsos MORI for the Royal Statistical Society and King’s College London showing the British public is often wrong about what we think we know on a range of current social issues. For instance, we (collectively) massively over-estimate the proportion of people in this country who are black or Asian, or who are Muslim, or who are over 65. We also think, again wrongly, that crime is rising, and that more is spent on overseas aid than …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 15 Comments

Opinion: Statistics don’t vote. Should we care if they are abused?

Statistics don’t vote – should we care if they are abused?

Statistics are essential to our wellbeing and the bane of our future. We need numbers to understand what is happening in our world. Yet day after day, they end up abused in our media, distorted by our political leaders and muddled in our heads

Yesterday the Royal Statistical Society (RSS) published a cute survey that looks at the difference between statistical perceptions and reality.

Let’s look first at those people who are satisfied with their experience of local council services. That’s 38% of us. This is not great applause, but when …

Posted in Op-eds | 6 Comments

The British public, eh? What do they know?

rss - PerilsofPerceptionThat’s the question the Royal Statistical Society and King’s College London decided to find out with the help of polling firm Ipsos MORI. They asked the British public a range of questions on current social issues. And they found the public mostly gave answers that were factually wrong. Not just fractionally out: a long way out.

See how you do on the 10 most common misperceptions held by the British public…

Teenage pregnancy:
What proportion of girls under 16 do you think become pregnant each year?
a) 0.6%
b) 3.6%
c) 6.3%

Crime:
Is violent …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 27 Comments
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