How to Lie with Statistics Illustrated Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 1,056 ratings
ISBN-13: 978-0393310726
ISBN-10: 0393310728
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Condition: Used: Good
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"There is terror in numbers," writes Darrell Huff in How to Lie with Statistics. And nowhere does this terror translate to blind acceptance of authority more than in the slippery world of averages, correlations, graphs, and trends. Huff sought to break through "the daze that follows the collision of statistics with the human mind" with this slim volume, first published in 1954. The book remains relevant as a wake-up call for people unaccustomed to examining the endless flow of numbers pouring from Wall Street, Madison Avenue, and everywhere else someone has an axe to grind, a point to prove, or a product to sell. "The secret language of statistics, so appealing in a fact-minded culture, is employed to sensationalize, inflate, confuse, and oversimplify," warns Huff.

Although many of the examples used in the book are charmingly dated, the cautions are timeless. Statistics are rife with opportunities for misuse, from "gee-whiz graphs" that add nonexistent drama to trends, to "results" detached from their method and meaning, to statistics' ultimate bugaboo--faulty cause-and-effect reasoning. Huff's tone is tolerant and amused, but no-nonsense. Like a lecturing father, he expects you to learn something useful from the book, and start applying it every day. Never be a sucker again, he cries!

Even if you can't find a source of demonstrable bias, allow yourself some degree of skepticism about the results as long as there is a possibility of bias somewhere. There always is.

Read How to Lie with Statistics. Whether you encounter statistics at work, at school, or in advertising, you'll remember its simple lessons. Don't be terrorized by numbers, Huff implores. "The fact is that, despite its mathematical base, statistics is as much an art as it is a science." --Therese Littleton

Review

“A hilarious exploration of mathematical mendacity.… Every time you pick it up, what happens? Bang goes another illusion!”
- New York Times

“A pleasantly subversive little book guaranteed to undermine your faith in the almighty statistic.”
- Atlantic

Product details

  • Item Weight : 4.8 ounces
  • Paperback : 144 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0393310728
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0393310726
  • Publisher : W. W. Norton & Company; Illustrated Edition (October 17, 1993)
  • Product Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.3 inches
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,056 ratings

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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
1,056 global ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on February 25, 2016
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Reviewed in the United States on October 6, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on July 27, 2019
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Top reviews from other countries

Terry Freedman
5.0 out of 5 stars Still useful after all these years
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 3, 2016
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15 people found this helpful
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Dean
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome little book on statistics in everyday life.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 19, 2016
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6 people found this helpful
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Andrew Dalby
5.0 out of 5 stars The original that everyone follows
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 30, 2015
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11 people found this helpful
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Marshall Lord
5.0 out of 5 stars Invaluable basic primer on how not to use numbers
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 27, 2006
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59 people found this helpful
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vex
4.0 out of 5 stars brief but cartoons amusing
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 27, 2019
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