How to Lie with Statistics
_{ Darrell Huff (Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc: Oct 28, 1993; orig. 1954), 142 pages. Oct 28 . 1993 }There is terror in numbers,” writes Darrell Huff in How to Lie with Statistics. And nowhere does this terror translate to blind acceptance of authority more than in the slippery world of averages, correlations, graphs, and trends. Huff sought to break through “the daze that follows the collision of statistics with the human mind” with this slim volume, first published in 1954. The book remains relevant as a wakeup call for people unaccustomed to examining the endless flow of numbers pouring from Wall Street, Madison Avenue, and everywhere else someone has an axe to grind, a point to prove, or a product to sell. “The secret language of statistics, so appealing in a factminded culture, is employed to sensationalize, inflate, confuse, and oversimplify,” warns Huff. Although many of the examples used in the book are charmingly dated, the cautions are timeless. Statistics are rife with opportunities for misuse, from “geewhiz graphs” that add nonexistent drama to trends, to “results” detached from their method and meaning, to statistics’ ultimate bugaboo — faulty causeandeffect reasoning. Huff’s tone is tolerant and amused, but nononsense. Like a lecturing father, he expects you to learn something useful from the book, and start applying it every day. Never be a sucker again, he cries! “Even if you can’t find a source of demonstrable bias, allow yourself some degree of skepticism about the results as long as there is a possibility of bias somewhere. There always is.” Read How to Lie with Statistics. Whether you encounter statistics at work, at school, or in advertising, you’ll remember its simple lessons. Don’t be terrorized by numbers, Huff implores. “The fact is that, despite its mathematical base, statistics is as much an art as it is a science.” ~ Therese Littleton
Table of Contents

 Acknowledgments 6
 Introduction 7
 1 The Sample with the Builtin Bias 11
 2 The WellChosen Average 27
 3 The Little Figures That Are Not There 37
 4 Much Ado about Practically Nothing 53
 5 The GeeWhiz Graph 60
 6 The OneDimensional Picture 66
 7 The Semiattached Figure 74
 8 Post Hoc Rides Again 87
 9 How to Statisticulate 100
 10 How to Talk Back to a Statistic 122