NORFOLK, Neb. – The effects of statistics on society will be the focus of an evening lecture at Northeast Community College next week.
Northeast faculty members Dr. Annie Corbett (behavioral sciences) and Stacey Aldag (mathematics) will speak during the college’s Hawk Talks lectures series on Wed., April 13, at 7 p.m., in Union 73 on the Northeast campus in Norfolk. The talk is free and open to the public.
Corbett said in modern-day society, the public is constantly inundated with information and data with the understanding data can be manipulated. She said the secret to statistics is that they can be manipulated to present a specific, desired outcome.
“Misleading statistics refer to the misuse of numerical data either intentionally or by error. The results provide deceiving information that creates false narratives around a topic,” Corbett said. “Misuse of statistics often happens in advertisements, politics, news, media, and others. Given the importance of data in today’s rapidly evolving digital world, it is important to be familiar with the basics of misleading statistics and oversight.”
Corbett said as an exercise in due diligence, she and Aldag will review some of the most common forms of the misuse of statistics as well as, what she describes, as various alarming and common misleading statistics examples.
“We want everyone to come and learn how to look at promotional claims and statistics through the lens of an informed consumer, learn how to identify the purpose behind the message, and question published data.”
The Hawk Talks lecture series is coordinated by Paul Muncy, social sciences instructor at Northeast. Lisa Guenther, early childhood education instructor, spoke on the need for more quality childcare in Nebraska during a Hawk Talks program in February.
PHOTO IDs: Stacey Aldag (left) and Dr. Annie Corbett.