How important are statistics in making a point?


#1

75.7% of people surveyed said they were more likely to sin after lunch than before lunch.

Do the use of stats make you more persuaded by someone’s view? I have been a fan of Jordan Peterson but when he uses statistics from psychological research, I feel underwhelmed. How valid was the research?
Are stats used much to defend Catholicism? Only 5% of Catholics surveyed read the Bible every day. Well I think it would be higher in my parish where there is a Bible reading ministry, for instance. I guess some stats are better than none? Can show a tendency so have some validity.


#2

I guess stats are only used in scientific debates or things that have a aspect that science can delve into.


#3

Unfortunately four of every three people struggle with fractions.


#4

Did you know 100% of statistics are made up?


#5

I want to know what the sample size was.


#6

It was obviously 7. 4+3 = 7


#7

I wish my math was that good.


#8

I dig me some mathematicals.


#9

100% of posters not taking me seriously? Oh dear. Gone are the days when my status on here was much higher.


#10

I think statistics can be useful, but have their limits.

Whenever I read that x% of Catholics believe [fill in the blank] I’m left wondering how they define Catholic. Weekly Mass-attending Catholics? Christmas and Easter Catholics? Catholics who haven’t set foot in a church since their First Communion?

And how was the question worded? There’s a difference between

  • Is the Eucharist a symbol?
  • Is the Eucharist only a symbol?

But either of those questions might be used to demonstrate that Catholics don’t believe in the Real Presence in the Eucharist.


#11

At least your status isn’t being suspended for a large quantity of time anymore.


#12

Surely that depends on the point being made?


#13

I didn’t know you cared so much. That’s beautiful.


#14

“There are three types of lies: lies, atrocious lies, and statistics.”
– Mark Twain


#15

I would add “distortions”. That seems to be the most common tactic now. Inflate your enemy’s faults and downplay your own.


#16

If the topic has a behavioral component then yes, stats help. But the source and conditions of the survey matter. Were the questions biased? Was the sample valid, etc.

Honest surveys will publish the exact questions and a short description of how the sample was selected and weighted.


#17

And good surveys will have a breakdown somewhere for weekly, monthly, rarely mass goers.


#18

Who has time for serious sin until after work? Lots of imperfections before then, though. :grimacing:


#19

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#20

I think Catholic researchers need to do some surveys on sinning.
Like “what sins do you regard as trivial, less severe?”
would reveal some interesting answers.


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