## Statistics

Statistics is simply a mathematical science that gathers information about a population so that population may be described usefully. Statistics are often used to draw conclusions and make decisions based on that information. So, what's the problem?

Statistics are complicated and their problems can be numerous. In general, though, problems with statistics are similar to those of other types of numerical data; namely, they can be gathered, analyzed, and/or interpreted incorrectly, or mishandled by someone with a bias. Let's look at two common problems with statistics. The first question to ask is, is the statistic meaningful? Many parents worry, for instance, when they hear that the average baby walks at 13 months. They conclude that there must be something wrong with their 18-month-old who is still crawling. But, it has been proven that babies who walk later have no developmental differences at age two from their early-walking peers. In other words, the statistic is not meaningful; there is nothing wrong with an 18-month-old who is still crawling.

Another example: when standardized test scores were analyzed across the country, it was concluded that students from wealthy communities were smarter than students in poorer communities because their scores were higher. Is this a meaningful, accurate conclusion? Probably not. It does not take into account the many other variables that can account for lower test scores, such as inferior preparation, fatigue, and even breakfast on the day of testing.

## Friendly Persuasion

To do this successfully you need to build a clear path of action by using tools if necessary. These tools would be facts, evidence and stories which you know they can relate to. Plus you always want to have their best interests at heart, in other words, you know what is good for them

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