What is it about?

Here are seven simple questions policymakers can ask when dealing with social statistics as evidence in arguments. 1) How big? 2) Compared to what? 3) Why not rates? 4) Per what? 5) Defined, counted or measured how? 6) What was controlled for? 7) What should have been controlled for?

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Why is it important?

Today, social statistics are everywhere. They are used many -- if not most -- political and social arguments. Today's students and citizens need to know how to read and interpret social statistics. They need to understand how statistics are constructed and manipulated.


If these seven questions and the ideas they involve are all that people remember after studying Statistical Literacy, I would consider them to be statistically-literate.

Milo Schield
Augsburg College

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Statistical literacy: Seven simple questions for policymakers, Statistical Journal of the IAOS, June 2022, IOS Press,
DOI: 10.3233/sji-220957.
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