Damned Lies and Statistics: Untangling Numbers from the Media, Politicians, and Activists

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9780520219786: Damned Lies and Statistics: Untangling Numbers from the Media, Politicians, and Activists
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Book by Best Joel

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Críticas:

"A real page-turner. Best is the John Grisham of sociology!" - James Holstein, author of The New Language of Qualitative Method "Best continues to invite us to participate in his absolutely fascinating and sobering quest into the fantastic differences between the world as it is and the world as it is portrayed in the statistics the media use....This book is simply a must." - Nachman Ben-Yehuda, author of The Madada Myth "Best is our leading authority on social problems today. His detective work in exposing the spurious use of statistics is essential to constructive social science. No one who speaks for the public welfare can ignore his powerful work." - Jonathan B.Imber, Editor in Chief, Society "Joel Best is at it again. In Damned Lies and Statistics, he shows how statistics are manipulated, mismanaged, misrepresented, and massaged by officials and other powerful groups to promote their agendas. He is a master at examining taken-for-granted 'facts' and debunking them through careful sociological scrutiny." - Patricia Adler, author of Peer Power"

Reseña del editor:

Does the number of children gunned down double each year? Does anorexia kill 150,000 young women annually? Do white males account for only a sixth of new workers? Startling statistics shape our thinking about social issues. But all too often, these numbers are wrong. This book is a lively guide to spotting bad statistics and learning to think critically about these influential numbers. "Damned Lies and Statistics" is essential reading for everyone who reads or listens to the news, for students, and for anyone who relies on statistical information to understand social problems. Joel Best bases his discussion on a wide assortment of intriguing contemporary issues that have garnered much recent media attention, including abortion, cyberporn, homelessness, the Million Man March, teen suicide, the U.S. census, and much more. Using examples from the "New York Times", the "Washington Post", and other major newspapers and television programs, he unravels many fascinating examples of the use, misuse, and abuse of statistical information. In this book Best shows us exactly how and why bad statistics emerge, spread, and come to shape policy debates. He recommends specific ways to detect bad statistics, and shows how to think more critically about 'stat wars', or disputes over social statistics among various experts. Understanding this book does not require sophisticated mathematical knowledge; Best discusses the most basic and most easily understood forms of statistics, such as percentages, averages, and rates. This accessible book provides an alternative to either naively accepting the statistics we hear or cynically assuming that all numbers are meaningless. It shows how anyone can become a more intelligent, critical, and empowered consumer of the statistics that inundate both the social sciences and our media-saturated lives.

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Joel Best
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Best, Joel
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