less-than-average illustration

This Sunday morning, I was reading the NYT when I came upon this picture illustrating Stephanie Koontz’s tribune “when  numbers mislead“, a rather dull summary of an unreferenced and impossible-to-google paper called “The Trouble With Averages” [what about Quételet?!] dealing with the impact of marriage(s) on happiness (and vice-versa). [Funny enough, Andrew was telling me about this economist from Warwick working on happiness just yesterday night!] I however wanted mostly to point out how a-statistical this picture was, from a meaningless Venn diagram (reminding me of Templeton!) to the notion of opposing average and variation, to outliers standing in the wrong place (intersection of whatever!). [I do not think it is relevant to stress the innumeracy revealed by the column and its title!]

2 Responses to “less-than-average illustration”

  1. The paper is on the CCF site that is linked from the NYT article. See http://www.contemporaryfamilies.org/Marriage-Partnership-Divorce/trouble-with-averages-briefing.html

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