How does statistics influence our lives?

February 5, 2012 Leilla92

Okay so for this semesters first blog i decided to go with how statistics actually influences us in our day to day lives. The truth is even if we dont realise it we are all influenced by statistics in almost everything we do. For example when we were around 3 or even younger the majority of us would have attended nursery or play school, but why did we go to these schools and nurseries?. Well it could be because it is only down the road and the parents need to get to work, in reality however the reviews of the nurseries and schools would have heavily infuenced why your guardians placed you there. This is true for when we all had to make our decisions on which university to go to, the best reviews and statistics on grades and achievements is the one we want. Were only human after all and we only want the best.  To make that point even clearer if you herd a bad review about something you would be less likely to want to do it, hearing good reviews and positive stats make decisions easier. For example “90% of children who attend bangor play school perform above average on reading tasks”, this is a positive stat that will influence the decisions people make. Ever been watching your favourite progamme and then the annoying adverts come on? well this is usually how big branded companies get their chance to influence us in what shampoo we buy or what toothpaste to use!. The sad thing is that there are a lot of very gullable people who atually believe what they are being told in these adverts. To make good research you must know what research is, what is the purpose of the research and what the research shows.

To conclude even when we dont realise it we are influenced highly by statistics and there are some terrible researchers out there that will manipulate research in their favour (especially if they are being paid by big companies to do so), so not all stats put out there are acurate, so dont always believe what the doctor says!

Okay so not a brilliant blog! be nice happy blogging 🙂


Entry Filed under: Uncategorized

16 Comments Add your own

  • 1. raw2392  |  February 6, 2012 at 11:49 am

    Hey, your blog is actually really interesting, i enjoy reading blogs on topics that can be linked into real life as it helps me to understand the topic better as i can relate it to subjects which are influenced in my life.
    However, i think the way stats is written about in the real world can often be wrongly influential. For example in hair shampoo adverts when it states that 75% of participants would use the shampoo again, therefore providing the audience with the impression that the product is good, however it fails to provide the reasons behind the other 25% not liking the product, these reasons could actually really bad but because the audience are sheltered from seeing these, it gives a biased opinion.
    Stats can also be helpful in the real world in an example of jobs:
    Police officers also use statistics in several ways. The first way is to find out what intersections have the highest accident rate and then they are able to watch those intersections and reduce the number of accidents. They also study the crime rates in different neighborhoods to show the need for additional police force (DeAnn Nelson)
    Overall, a really good blog 🙂

  • 3. psuc98  |  February 8, 2012 at 11:37 am

    I liked the introduction, we are very reliant on statistics however I think you could have made this more relevant to psychology; antidepressants and other drugs are widely prescribed by psychiatrists due to their supporting research, a lot of which is statistics.

    I think it’s also important to point out the side to statistics which is unhelpful, the data manipulation and the way research can be presented, for example in those adverts you mentioned, in a misleading way, for example when advertising a branded shampoo a company may say 9/10 women loved the product! They don’t tell us what they loved and they may have only asked 10 women, 9 of who worked for the product company. You could have further discussed why people believe these adverts due to the misleading nature of them and even when it is appropriate to start doing things based on a statistic (statistical significance, sample size, etc).

    Overall I think you discussed some uses of statistics nicely but perhaps could have gone into a bit more detail with your examples.

  • 4. lmr92  |  February 9, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    I agree that statistics heavily influence our lives. However i disagree that the people who are influenced by advertisements on TV are gullable. Today’s advertisements are crafted so that there are subliminal messages hidden throughout the commercial.
    They could be in the actors’/actresses’ body language, in the setting of the commercial or simply in the colours used. e.g Martine McCutcheon always looks really happy when eating an activia yogurt, and they always have her in cheerful locations – like the beach – in bright colourful outfits. So we learn to associate the positivity of the setting, the colours and the actress with the yogurt itself.
    So just because some one is persuaded to buy something by a TV advert, doesn’t mean they’re gullable, it just means it’s a really good advert.
    …and yes i do like activia yogurts.

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  • 6. psyalo  |  February 9, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    Hey, I liked your blog. It’s really difficult to find a good topic and get back to into the whole ‘blogging’ mode, so I think you did well :).
    There are countless ways that statistics influence our lives. From the moment we are born, statistics are used on us. Our birth weight and other tests are taken, these calculations are then put into a national survey to see if birth weight is increasing. Out of so many examples, I chose this one by Scholl (2005), that found that intake of iron supplements may result in some reduction in risk of low birth weight or preterm low birth weight. We are bombarded with statistics everyday up to our death, and even then it doesn’t leave us alone, our data will then be used after we are gone. Statistics show that people in the UK on average live to around 80+, .
    It seems that as much as we would like to avoid statistics, its everywhere, we’ll just have to accept it and try and understand it as much as possible.

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  • 8. itsstats3453  |  February 9, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    Statistics are everywhere there really is no way of escaping well during our academic lives that is for sure. Why am I even commenting on this blog well it’s really good of course 🙂 and because I want to ensure I get above 40% in this module to pass. We are all working towards being part of a statistic.
    The use of stats in advertisements have really exploded the main reason why because of competition they need to entice consumers in to buying there product. So putting in some pretty basic stats that seem impressive wins them more potential buyers. However if the public stopped and looked a bit closer they would realise the findings are pretty unsubstantial, for example 89% of the 52 men we tested agreed. I don’t think consumers fall in to these ad stats that easily though.

    Stats are also used in many other places in society like the police or the health care to see when they may need more resources. Looking at the number of admittance’s for cases of alcoholism across the year allows hospitals to predict when they may experience influxes. It would also allow the police to order more officers to patrol and be aware.


  • 10. cerijayne  |  February 9, 2012 at 11:36 pm

    I agree with you, just like the media, friends, religion, celebrities and money; statistics has that hold upon us that we allow to influence us. In fact most of the above use statistics to make themselves more powerful, for instance celebrities who may bring out a fitness DVD claim you WILL see results in this amount of time, this amount of people claims it works, along with a balanced diet of blah blah calories you will look like a Greek goddess. We all know this is most likely not the case, but I myself have fallen prey and bought an exercise DVD which claims to work wonders in regards to statistics, only to be disappointed. Furthermore as you said a statistics such as “90% of children who attend Bangor play school perform above average on reading tasks’ , if I were to have a child this would heavily influence my decision, I would want my child to go there in regards to the play school down the road with only 20% above average. It is amazing, how one simple number allows you to make a decision or even change your mind over something it has been made up on for a while. We often see a statistic and mistake facts for truth, and evidence for proof. We really need to look into whether they are accurate, are they even relevant to the question in hand and how have they been used or adapted. Doing this however is another story.

  • 12. statsjamps  |  February 10, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    Hello, really interesting blog, and I agree that stats does have an impact on our lives but may not always have the best results. I went to a very successful high school where the majority of student got grades A*-C for both GCSE and A-Levels, however because our school is small they didnt not have enough money to fund German to year 11, so the year eights and the time were told that they would have to sit the exam in year nine at the highest grade possible C. Therefore when the result came out 100 percent of the class got C grade but only one. When the school statisitc came out, Gwernyfed one of the best in the area came out lower grades than predict when the students started. this was would to 28 students in year nine getting a gcse eairly. This information was not encluded when the statistic came out and was shown to be very low in the counry, therefore if gardians were looking where to send their children and didnot know that the statistic where lower for these reason then they might have sent their children too a school which looked better on paper at that time but actually was now. so to conclude statistics may have a negative impact on our daily lives.

  • 14. psucb2  |  February 22, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    i love this blog 🙂 i completely agree. stats is everywhere and it is not until you begin to look for it that you realise! However, i think that it is important to remember that a lot of statistics used in everyday is misleading, if not just made up completely. Statistics can be manipulated in so many different ways to make it fit with what the person releasing the data wants to show that it is important to look at all statistics presented to us carefully, no matter where.

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