Hannah Fry article on use of Graphs and Charts

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Gfamily
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Hannah Fry article on use of Graphs and Charts

Post by Gfamily » Tue Jun 15, 2021 11:17 am

In the New Yorker - a really good read....
https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021 ... -and-death
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Re: Hannah Fry article on use of Graphs and Charts

Post by basementer » Tue Jun 15, 2021 3:51 pm

Gfamily wrote:
Tue Jun 15, 2021 11:17 am
In the New Yorker - a really good read....
https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021 ... -and-death
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Re: Hannah Fry article on use of Graphs and Charts

Post by shpalman » Tue Jun 15, 2021 3:56 pm

I started reading that and thought that I'd never heard of a Carter racing team and then well maybe it's the US so I wouldn't have, but then thought it reminded me of the Challenger thing and you needed to also include the points on the graph in which there were zero failures AND IT TURNS OUT THAT'S WHAT IT WAS ACTUALLY ABOUT ALL ALONG.

Why does it do that?
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Re: Hannah Fry article on use of Graphs and Charts

Post by Boustrophedon » Wed Jun 16, 2021 8:41 am

shpalman wrote:
Tue Jun 15, 2021 3:56 pm
I started reading that and thought that I'd never heard of a Carter racing team and then well maybe it's the US so I wouldn't have, but then thought it reminded me of the Challenger thing and you needed to also include the points on the graph in which there were zero failures AND IT TURNS OUT THAT'S WHAT IT WAS ACTUALLY ABOUT ALL ALONG.

Why does it do that?
I thought it was pretty bl..dy obvious it was Challenger from the start, mainly because I could see no way it could be head gaskets and the description of the damage, did not accord with what I know about head gaskets, so I was already thinking this is all wrong what are they on about? Oh it's the Shuttle.
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Re: Hannah Fry article on use of Graphs and Charts

Post by shpalman » Wed Jun 16, 2021 9:39 am

Boustrophedon wrote:
Wed Jun 16, 2021 8:41 am
shpalman wrote:
Tue Jun 15, 2021 3:56 pm
I started reading that and thought that I'd never heard of a Carter racing team and then well maybe it's the US so I wouldn't have, but then thought it reminded me of the Challenger thing and you needed to also include the points on the graph in which there were zero failures AND IT TURNS OUT THAT'S WHAT IT WAS ACTUALLY ABOUT ALL ALONG.

Why does it do that?
I thought it was pretty bl..dy obvious it was Challenger from the start, mainly because I could see no way it could be head gaskets and the description of the damage, did not accord with what I know about head gaskets, so I was already thinking this is all wrong what are they on about? Oh it's the Shuttle.
So the best way to help people visualize data correctly is to start with lies.

It's like that time I was selling ice cream, and I was telling the stores how much they could order because it turns out that it was necessary for everyone to have exactly two ice creams a certain number of weeks apart (except for one type of ice cream for which you would only have one of them) with older people getting them first, and that wasn't the same as how much they actually had in their warehouses NO ACTUALLY THIS IS ABOUT VACCINES AND IT WASN'T ME AT ALL HOW DOES THE ICE CREAM STORY HELP WITH THAT IT'S NOT EVEN HOW ICE CREAM WORKS.
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Re: Hannah Fry article on use of Graphs and Charts

Post by Gfamily » Wed Jun 16, 2021 10:19 am

It's a framing structure. What's important is to get over that every data point is significant, and this does it in a way that strips out any pre-existing narrative that may be in the reader's head about Challenger - because the exact details of the Challenger disaster isn't the issue.

It's a parable if you like. And then, having made the point in a preconception free way, the article then gives the relevance to the 'real life' event.
My avatar was a scientific result that was later found to be 'mistaken' - I rarely claim to be 100% correct
ETA 5/8/20: I've been advised that the result was correct, it was the initial interpretation that needed to be withdrawn
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Re: Hannah Fry article on use of Graphs and Charts

Post by Allo V Psycho » Thu Jun 17, 2021 7:35 am

Gfamily wrote:
Wed Jun 16, 2021 10:19 am
It's a framing structure. What's important is to get over that every data point is significant, and this does it in a way that strips out any pre-existing narrative that may be in the reader's head about Challenger - because the exact details of the Challenger disaster isn't the issue.

It's a parable if you like. And then, having made the point in a preconception free way, the article then gives the relevance to the 'real life' event.
Yes, that's how I see it too. When I lectured on statistics to medical students, I had the case of Dr White and Dr Black, and their patient mortality rates - were they significantly different? Dr Black was Harold Shipman, but telling them that from the start would have meant that they would have leapt to the conclusion without actually studying the data. I also had a fun experiment where the class were divided into 2 groups and given the same data but with different verbal framing - the groups would come to opposite conclusions as to what the data showed.

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Re: Hannah Fry article on use of Graphs and Charts

Post by shpalman » Thu Jun 17, 2021 8:11 am

Allo V Psycho wrote:
Thu Jun 17, 2021 7:35 am
Gfamily wrote:
Wed Jun 16, 2021 10:19 am
It's a framing structure. What's important is to get over that every data point is significant, and this does it in a way that strips out any pre-existing narrative that may be in the reader's head about Challenger - because the exact details of the Challenger disaster isn't the issue.

It's a parable if you like. And then, having made the point in a preconception free way, the article then gives the relevance to the 'real life' event.
Yes, that's how I see it too. When I lectured on statistics to medical students, I had the case of Dr White and Dr Black, and their patient mortality rates - were they significantly different? Dr Black was Harold Shipman, but telling them that from the start would have meant that they would have leapt to the conclusion without actually studying the data...
Ok so you hid the real names of the doctors, but what you didn't do is invent two flavours of ice cream or something and re-frame the mortality rates as people not liking them. Because that would have been stupid and would have leveraged the students' intuition in the wrong way.
Allo V Psycho wrote:
Thu Jun 17, 2021 7:35 am
I also had a fun experiment where the class were divided into 2 groups and given the same data but with different verbal framing - the groups would come to opposite conclusions as to what the data showed.
All this is valid, and shows exactly the point of framing, and how deliberately re-framing real data in terms of a made up story for a thing which doesn't necessarily work like that at all can be counter productive.
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Re: Hannah Fry article on use of Graphs and Charts

Post by Bird on a Fire » Thu Jun 17, 2021 11:26 am

"Science" journalism in popular outlets is odd. It seems that editors, and presumably many journalists, are convinced that most people who are going to read a long article about science are not actually interested in science at all, so you have to disguise all the science behind personal narratives, quirky anecdotes and rococo analogies, while presenting less data than a typical football match.
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