Why is the analysis of statistic sometimes considered an art?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The analysis of statistics may possibly be considered art--"the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination"--since it can sometimes involve a creative manipulation of perspective and interpretation without changing the objective, mathematical facts so that the statistics are not changed.

Certainly, the advertising world uses this facility of statistics. For example, a commercial for toothpaste claims that "Three out of four dentists recommend ______(the product)." This fractional proportional is, indeed, more convincing than the use of the ratio which would be presented by employing percentage; that is, seventy-five per cent. For, 3 out of 4 leaves only 1 dentist who does not endorse product X; however, 75% leaves 25% of dentists who do not endorse the toothpaste. Thus, because the number 25 seems so much larger than the number 1, people tend to perceive 25% as a greater number on the negative side of the endorsement.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial