Camps Flushed Down the Toilet
Lessons in Data Manipulation
Here is a classic example of how to lie with statisitics. Two different sets of results from the survey were combined and manipulated to produce the desired results.
At the 2011 Spring Assembly meeting, this slide was shown:
This looks as though members chose "indoor flush toilets" as the single most important feature they wanted at camps. The slide is clearly labeled "Survey Results".
But here's the problem:
The actual survey question did NOT ask members to rank importance of these features. It did NOT ask them how important each feature was. The question listed several features and gave a choice of "really liking" or "OK with this" or "Do not need" . This was very ambiguous, as it is possible for one person to "really like" something at camp and at the same time to "not need" it.
Here are the actual survey results:
The actual results show that 73.7% of adults are OK with outhouses (an additional 9.5% "really like" them). 59% of girls are OK with them (plus additional 6.8% "really like").
Here is a DIFFERENT question that DOES ask members to rank aspects of camps. But the features being ranked are very, very different:
This list of features does mention flush toilets - in passing - as an example of something that can be considered when looking at the types of accomodations. Types of accomodations ARE "important" or "very important" to 92% of members. But this chart does not break down the specifics. We have no idea if it's the flushies or the electricity or some other feature that they want. Only that they are looking at the facilities in general.
The single most important feature in selecting a camp is "safety and security", which was listed as "important" or "very important" to 99.4% of the members. But that's not one of the options on the slide shown at the meeting.
The most effective lie looks realistic. But it's twisted just enough to completely change the meaning.
To view all the survey results, go to the DOCUMENTS page