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Class Discussions

Discussion 1For this discussion, begin by reviewing the technique of quantitative analysis in your
textbook. Then, keeping this technique in mind, read the following quotes:







“Data do not give up their secrets easily. They must be tortured to confess.”—Jeff
Hopper, Bell Labs
“Statistics is a body of methods for learning from experience.”—Lincoln Moses
“The time may not be very remote when it will be understood that for complete
initiation as an efficient citizen of one of the new great complex worldwide states that
are now developing, it is as necessary to be able to compute, to think in averages
and maxima and minima, as it is now to be able to read and write.”—H.G. Wells
“The coming century is surely the century of data.”—David Donoho (2000)
“Another mistaken notion connected with the law of large numbers is the idea that
an event is more or less likely to occur because it has or has not happened recently.
The idea that the odds of an event with a fixed probability increase or decrease
depending on recent occurrences of the event is called the gambler’s fallacy. For
example, if Kerrich landed, say, 44 heads in the first 100 tosses, the coin would not
develop a bias towards the tails in order to catch up! That’s what is at the root of
such ideas as ‘her luck has run out’ and ‘he is due.’ That does not happen. For what
it’s worth, a good streak doesn’t jinx you, and a bad one, unfortunately, does not
mean better luck is in store.”―Leonard Mlodinow, The Drunkard’s Walk: How
Randomness Rules Our Lives
“A certain elementary training in statistical method is becoming as necessary for
everyone living in this world of today as reading and writing.”―H.G. Wells, World
Brain
“The non-scientist in the street probably has a clearer notion of physics, chemistry
and biology than of statistics, regarding statisticians as numerical philatelists, mere
collector of numbers.”―Stephen Senn, Dicing with Death: Chance, Risk and Health
Quotes retrieved
from www.goodreads.com/quotes/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&q=statistics&commit=Se
arch
Based on the above quotes, along with this week’s assigned readings and Instructor Guidance,
discuss why quantitative analysis is important for describing data sets and presenting
distribution information.
Discussion 2
Locate an example of a research study that uses quantitative analysis. Explain what this
statistical method allowed the researchers to accomplish and conclude in the study.
Discussion 3
There are strengths and weaknesses to graphical analysis research techniques. For this
discussion, begin by reviewing the technique of graphical analysis in your textbook.
Then, keeping this technique in mind, read the following quotes:




“Errors using inadequate data are much less than those using no data at all.”—
Charles Babbage
“Statistics is the science of variation.”—Douglas M. Bates (1985)
“All models are wrong, but some models are useful.”—George E. P. Box (1979)
The greatest moments are those when you see the result pop up in a graph or in
your statistics analysis – that moment you realize you know something no one else
does and you get the pleasure of thinking about how to tell them.—Emily Oster
https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&q=statistics&commit=S
earch
Also consider the following ways to make a graph misleading from Misleading
Graphs (Links to an external site.) (Passy, 2012):













“Vertical scale is too big or too small.
Vertical axis skips numbers, or does not start at zero.
Graph is not labeled properly.
Graph does not have a title to explain what it is about.
Data is left out.
Scale not starting at zero.
Scale made in very small units to make graph look very big.
Scale values or labels missing from the graph.
Incorrect scale placed on the graph.
Pieces of a pie chart are not the correct sizes.
Oversized volumes of objects that are too big for the vertical scale differences they
represent.
Size of images used in pictographs being different for the different categories being
graphed.
Graph being a non-standard size or shape.”
Based on the above quotes, along with this week’s assigned readings and Instructor
Guidance, compare graphical analysis with quantitative analysis (a technique you
explored last week), and discuss why graphical analysis is important in research.
Finally, describe guidelines for using graphical tools to present information clearly and
effectively.
Discussion 4
Locate an example of a research study that uses graphs and/or tables in its analysis. Explain
what this statistical technique allows the researchers to accomplish and/or conclude in the
study. Note: Graphic presentations are most often found in the Results section of a study.
Discussion 5
There are strengths and weaknesses associated with the hypothesis testing procedure.
For this discussion, begin by reviewing the concept of hypothesis testing in your
textbook. Then, keeping this in mind, read the following quotes:

“Your relevance as a data custodian is your ability to analyze and interpret it. If you
can’t, your replacement is due.”—Wisdom Kwashie Mensah
• “Be careful of averages and how they’re applied. One way that they can fool you is if
the average combines samples from disparate populations. This can lead to absurd
observations such as: ‘On average, humans have one testicle.’”—Daniel J. Levitin, A
Field Guide to Lies: Critical Thinking in the Information Age (2016)
• “How results that are not indicative of anything can be produced by pure chance—
given a small enough number of cases—is something you can test for yourself at
small Just start tossing a penny. How often will it come up heads? Half the time of
course. Everyone knows that. Well, let’s check that and see…. I have just tried ten
tosses and got heads eight times, which proves that pennies come up heads eighty
percent of the time.”—Darrell Huff, How to Lie With Statistics (1954)
• “With enough mental gymnastics, just about any fact can become misshapen in
favor to one’s confirmation bias.”—Criss Jami, Healology (2016)
• “A small sample, we repeat, is rarely the big scientific problem. Interpretation is.”—
Stephen Thomas Ziliak, The Cult of Statistical Significance: How the Standard Error
Costs Us Jobs, Justice, and Lives (2008)
• “We may at once admit that any inference from the particular to the general must be
attended with some degree of uncertainty, but this is not the same as to admit that
such inference cannot be absolutely rigorous, for the nature and degree of the
uncertainty may itself be capable of rigorous expression.”—Sir Ronald Fisher
• “It is worth looking closer and remembering something Marcos Alvito told me:
Statistics are like a bikini. They show so much, but they hide the most important
parts.”—Dave Zirin, Brazil’s Dance With the Devil: The World Cup, the Olympics,
and the Struggle for Democracy (2014)
https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&q=statistics&commit=S
earch (Links to an external site.)
Based on the above quotes, along with this week’s assigned readings and Instructor
Guidance, discuss why hypothesis testing is important in research.
Discussion 6
Locate an example of a research study that uses hypothesis testing. Explain whether the study
describes its hypothesis testing procedure explicitly or implicitly, based on the explanations in
the Methodology section. Finally, discuss what this statistical technique allowed the researchers
to accomplish and/or conclude in the study.
Discussion 7
There are strengths and weaknesses associated with statistical testing. For this
discussion, begin by reviewing the various methods of statistical testing presented in
your textbook (i.e., t-tests, ANOVA, chi-square, and f-tests). Then, keeping these
methods in mind, read the following quotes:

“Trying to analyze a situation without enough data was like looking at a photograph
of a ball in flight and trying to gauge its direction. Is it going up, down, sideways? Is it
about to collide with a baseball bat? Is it moving at all, or is something on the blind
side holding it in place? A single frame didn’t mean a thing. Patterns were based on
data. With enough datapoints, you could predict just about anything.”—Marcus
Sakey, Brilliance (2013)
• “In a world with amazing amounts of statistics and demographics available, If you
don’t utilize foresight, statistics, demographics, projections and predictions the
competition will.”—Akutra-Ramses Atenosis Cea
• “The government are very keen on amassing statistics. They collect them, add them,
raise them to the nth power, take the cube root and prepare wonderful diagrams. But
you must never forget that every one of these figures comes in the first instance
from the village watchman, who just puts down what he damn pleases.”—Josiah
Stamp
• “No data are excluded on subjective or arbitrary grounds. No one piece of data is
more highly valued than another. The consequences of this policy have to be
accepted, even if they prove awkward.”—Jennifer K. McArthur, Place-Names in the
Knossos Tablets Identification and Location (1993)
• “Statistical analysis in cases involving small numbers can be particularly helpful
because on many occasions intuition can be highly misleading.”—Sandy
Zabell, Statistics: A Guide to the Unknown (3rd ed.) (1989)
https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&q=statistics&commit=S
earch (Links to an external site.)
Based on the above quotes, along with this week’s assigned readings and Instructor
Guidance, discuss why statistical testing is important in research.
Discussion 8
Locate an example of a research study that uses statistical tests. List the statistical tests that
are used, and explain what each one allows the researchers to accomplish and/or conclude in
the study.
Discussion 9
There are strengths and weaknesses associated with correlation and regression. For
this discussion, begin by reading about correlation and regression in your textbook.
Then, keeping these techniques in mind, read the following quotes:






“One of the first things taught in introductory statistics textbooks is that correlation is
not causation. It is also one of the first things forgotten.”—Thomas Sowell, The
Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy (1995)
“Statistics were magic like this: they could tell you with near-certainty that a thing
would occur, without a hint of when or where.”—Hugh Howey, Shift (2013)
“If the statistics are boring, then you’ve got the wrong numbers.”—Edward R. Tufte
“Those who ignore statistics are condemned to reinvent it. Statistics is the science of
learning from experience.”—Bradley Efron (2006)
“Nature is written in mathematical language.”—Galileo Galilei
“Statistics is the grammar of science.”—Karl Pearson
https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&q=statistics&commit=S
earch
Based on the above quotes, along with this week’s assigned readings and Instructor
Guidance, discuss the importance of analyzing correlation and regression in research.
Discussion 10
Locate an example of a research study that uses correlation and regression techniques. Explain
what it has allowed the researchers to accomplish and/or conclude in the study.
Discussion 11
For this discussion, begin by reviewing the techniques of effect sizes and confidence
intervals in your textbook. Then, keeping these techniques in mind, read the following
quotes:





“Statistics are no substitute for judgment.”—Henry Clay
“To not look at the data is foolish, but to look at the data as having all the answers is
even more foolish. It is a collision of new-school statistics and statisticians against
old-school managers, coaches, and instructors. Neither side is right, neither is
wrong; there is so much to be gained from listening to both sides.”—Tim
Kurkjian, I’m Fascinated by Sacrifice Flies: Inside the Game We All Love (2016)
“It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure
that just ain’t so.”—Mark Twain
“Good statistical inference never strays very far from the data.”—Brian S. Yandell
(2007)
“An approximate answer to the right problem is worth a good deal more than an
exact answer to an approximate problem.”—John Tukey
https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&q=statistics&commit=S
earch
Based on the above quotes, along with this week’s assigned readings and Instructor
Guidance, discuss the importance of effect sizes and confidence intervals in research.
Discussion 12
Locate an example of a research study that uses effect sizes and confidence intervals in its
analysis. Explain what these have allowed the researchers to accomplish and/or conclude in the
study.

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