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Hibernate's avatar

Can statistics make you feel better?

Asked by Hibernate (9025 points ) July 31st, 2011

Simple as that. I believe it’s a self explanatory question.

It does not matter what sort of statistics they are. Statistics about cures for cancer or just statistics about how many jokes a person tells every year ETC
You can use your imagination while thinking of any statistics they are.

Can they make you feel better when your mood is low?

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17 Answers

Bart19's avatar

Depends what the topic is. When it comes to health it can actually be quite depressing.

Cruiser's avatar

Yes! I like it when things do add up so you can be more certain about the true value of it!

Londongirl's avatar

It is all about probability…

intrepidium's avatar

Not if it refers to my waistline statistic which has been creeping up over the years…

creative1's avatar

When it relates to medical odds it can be hard to hear but it gives you a more relistic view of the situation you are in and what you are up against and helps you know in what ways that different things could help. So yes I think they can help make you feel better in the long run so you can come up with a plan of action.

JLeslie's avatar

Yes, but I always question how statistic information was gathered and calculated. It’s pretty easy to influence a stat to represent what a person wants it to by how a question is asked, or how a study is formulated.

snowberry's avatar

I agree with @JLeslie Statistics can be manipulated, but they don’t give me much comfort at all.

PhiNotPi's avatar

They can be comforting if they are 99% in my favor.

Oppositely, 1% in my favor would be depressing, no matter what it is.

If it was 60% in my favor for a health problem, that would not be comforting because the 40% could be something really bad, while the 60% would be normal life.

I also agree with @JLeslie Statistics can also be manipulated by presenting statistics that look and sound relevant, but aren’t mathematically. For example, imagine that there is a crime where there is a description of the suspect by a witness and the suspect matches the description. The prosecution can bring up statistics that say that there is something like a 1 in 100,000 chance that a person matches the discription. This makes the suspect seem pretty guilty. The irrelavancy comes because this statistic shows the chance that a random person matches the discription, not the chance that a person who matches the discription is the guilty person. If we are talking about an area with 300,000 people, then the same statistic show that there are about 2 other people who match the description, giving a probability of ⅓ that the person is guilty, far from beyond reasonable doubt.

poisonedantidote's avatar

Very much so, when I have a troubled mind I will always turn to statistics to ease my worries.

wundayatta's avatar

Yes. Simple as that. No need for any further explanation.

Under the Orange Tree.

KateTheGreat's avatar

Not at all. After receiving a buttload of statistics, I still think “what if I am in the negative part of that population?”

incendiary_dan's avatar

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

Coloma's avatar

@incendiary_dan

haha…beat me to it! Nope, I am not a statistic, and since I have been in the 1% in many realms I could care less what the infamous ” they” say.

filmfann's avatar

There are three kinds of people in the world: Those that can count, and those that can’t.

wundayatta's avatar

@filmfann You underestimate yourself!

mattbrowne's avatar

Oh, yes. This is how you can learn to enjoy flying on an airplane.

Hibernate's avatar

lol matt :)

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