Statistics is one of those oftentimes feared and hated classes. However, this is not because the material itself is loathsome. In fact, much of our modern world is based on statistics.
Understanding statistics will make a person a smarter consumer, a better arguer, and even a better parent. This is because the claims of everyone from companies selling products to pediatricians treating children are based on supposedly “scientific” claims garnered from research studies that use statistics to arrive at their conclusions.
However, many of the people using statistics in their claims count on the ignorance of the average person in relation to statistics in order to convince us of their arguments. Companies will use supposed statistical data in misleading ways in order to sell their products.
Physicians often fail to convey to patients the existence of alternate scenarios or treatments because one is most likely. Because consumers often don’t understand these dynamics, they are surprised when products don’t perform the stated way or when treatments for their ailments don’t work the way they are claimed to.
Gain a New Understanding
A better understanding of statistics and the way statistics are used can help to improve this situation for the average person. The average person needs statistics help in order to better understand many of the ways in which the world around us works.
When we are in school, whether it is high school, college, or graduate school, we are presented with statistics, often without even realizing it.
For example, when high school students learn to calculate percentages, they are learning a fundamental skill for statistics. When marketing students learn the tried and true tactics that are used to market products, they are often not aware that these methods have been studied using statistics in order to have become well-recognized and “proven” techniques. When students are presented with the actual methods underlying the development of these types of empirical knowledge, they often need to seek out statistics help to assist them with this important but unfamiliar topic.
You Do Need to Practice
Like any other skill, competence in performing and interpreting statistical operations takes time, practice, perseverance, and guidance. This guidance is also accompanied by coercion; for example, students must pass their statistics course to get their degree. Consistent effort in this topic along with the proper guidance can actually develop statistical competence relatively quickly.
What people often don’t know is that the people marketing products or researching the effectiveness of medications are no smarter than they are. They simply have occupied their time with these specific tasks. Therefore, most people can gain a different view of the world when they learn statistics. It can make them aware of the reasons as well as the uncertainty behind many of the claims commonly accepted as true or as common knowledge.
Statistics help is especially important in college because this is a formative time when the individual’s future competence as a responsible, informed consumer is forged. Paying attention and putting effort into this subject will pay off. It is not necessary to hate statistics; students need to realize how important this field of math is in our daily life and believe that it is not as complicated as they might think. It is simply a matter of time and habit, training the mind to learn a new skill.