Friday, July 2, 2010

Statistics: Being excused for rudeness since its invention

So I'm taking this Summer statistic course online, right?

Well I'm paging through the book today and the author is trying to explain what z scores are. Well he shows this graph, and the graph is supposed to display the "attractiveness" of a sample of men at a University.

So the author picks three dudes out of the sample who's names are Slug, Binky, and Biff. Slug has a low score, which means people do not find him attractive. Which is nice, right?

So the author decides to explain how we as researchers would explain Slug's score to Slug:

"What would we say to Slug? 'Bad news, Slug. Your score places you far below average in attractiveness. What's worse, down in the tail, the height of the curve above your score indicates a low frequency, so not many men received this low score. Also, the proportion of the area under the curve at your score is small, so the relative frequency- the proportion of all men receive your score- is low. Finally, Slug, your percentile is low, so a small percentage score below you while a large percentage scored above you. So Slug, scores such as yours are relatively infrequent, and few scores are lower than yours."

What a highly analytical way to tell someone that they're never going to get laid.

-Holly