Lies damn lies and statistics

Lies, damned lies, and statistics

lies damn lies and statistics

"Lies, damned lies, and statistics" is a phrase describing the persuasive power of numbers, particularly the use of statistics to bolster weak arguments. It is also.

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Benjamin Disraeli. Sign Up. My Account. Privacy Settings. Please enable Javascript This site requires Javascript to function properly, please enable it. There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics. Biography Author Profession: Statesman.

This well-known saying is part of a phrase often attributed to Benjamin Disraeli and popularized in the U. Numbers and formulas are supposed to represent "objective scientific data" you cannot deny which have been examined by intelligent and experienced experts. The Consummate Liar wants his forgeries to look undeniably "scientific", so why not use the magic of numbers that the not-so-math-literate masses could never deny? They say that statistics don't lie, and while that may be true, liars do use statistics. The problem is, people do not pay attention to the context, just the numbers. Also, "fastest-growing" could mean that there used to be one customer and then there were five more, making a five-hundred percent increase. The whole business of throwing percentages at people in advertising, politics and other forms of propaganda is almost destined for this kind of abuse.

This saying has a literal meaning. It suggests that statisyics can be used to mislead even more than the worst form of untruth. The source for this view is the autobiography of Mark Twain, where he makes that attribution. Nevertheless, no version of this quotation has been found in any of Disraeli's published works or letters. An early reference to the expression, which may explain Twain's assertion is found in a speech made by Leonard H.



Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics

It is also sometimes colloquially used to doubt statistics used to prove an opponent's point. The term was popularised in United States by Mark Twain among others , who attributed it to the British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.

Who said there are 'lies, damned lies and statistics'?

It is also sometimes colloquially used to doubt statistics used to prove an opponent's point. The phrase was popularized in the United States by Mark Twain among others , who attributed it to the British prime minister Benjamin Disraeli : "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics. Several other people have been listed as originators of the quote, and it is often erroneously attributed to Twain himself. Courtney , who used the phrase in and two years later became president of the Royal Statistical Society. Courtney is quoted by Baines as attributing the phrase to a "wise statesman", [4] but he may have been referring to a future statesman rather than a past one.

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