“There are two ways to learn about statistics. You could endure pages of maths and formulae, or you could learn from informative case studies exploring how, when and why data is used well or badly in today's society. I prefer the second option. Happily, the authors do too.” - Richard Harris, University of Bristol This is not your typical statistics textbook. The amount of data produced by and presented in the media has never been greater. But can we trust what we are being shown? In an age of fake news, how can you understand what data is real, misleading, or simply plain wrong? This book shows you how to critically evaluate the data you see in the media. It weaves everyday real-life examples with statistical concepts in a way that makes statistics come alive. No complex equations, no overly technical language. This isn’t just learning the techniques needed to pass a stats course. This is a book for anyone who reads (or writes) the news, watches adverts, or goes on the Internet. It will give you tools and knowledge you can apply every day to make sense of the use, and misuse, of data in the media.



Statistics are everywhere in the news media. And yet they are widely misunderstood, poorly reported and often downright false. Not only that, but consumers of the news are not well prepared to understand the figures used by reporters and journalists. Just consider how many people openly flaunt their poor quantitative skills. Maths teachers regularly hear phrases from parents like, ‘We’re terrible at Maths, we can’t help at all.’ Why is it that English teachers rarely get told by parents, ‘We can’t read very well, so we can’t help Delila with her homework’?

Politicians in the news haven’t helped remedy this quantitative skills deficit. In the run-up to the 2016 EU Referendum in the UK, Conservative MP Michael Gove defended Brexit by arguing that ‘people ...

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