5 Ways Statistics Are Used to Lie to You Every Day
As a person that deals with numbers on a daily basis, I can’t pick one of these 5 that hasn’t shaved years off of my life watching people commit. I do think that Confirmation Bias and news media using misleading numbers are 2 of the biggest problems that people face today. I mean that. Example; If you are reading this, the likelihood of you being shot by another person for basically any reason over your entire life is virtually nil. If you are a soldier or in a gang maybe it increases bit. The thing is, those folks having a higher rate has no real effect on the likelihood of a housewife in Kansas potentially getting shot yet they do effect those averages.
Funny enough, last night I was talking with 2 friends about a study I had to do in college on the rate of Lupus in women with breast implants in the late 80s. There were 2 cases (in the entire US) with reasonable evidence to assume that ruptured breast implants could have been one of multiple factors which resulted in those 2 women to having immune system issues. The thing to notice there are “could have been one of multiple factors” by the way. Also, that these were ruptured silicon implants which were (I think) 10+ year old implants. Anyways, the reason I had to study the case was because within months of this ‘speculation” there was a massive spike in women who had breast implants in hospitals with Lupus-like symptoms. The reason? Oprah did a TV special on the dangers of breast implants. Not ruptured 10 year old implants under specific circumstances mind you. Just implants. She showcased one of these women.
To date, there has never been conclusive evidence to support that breast implants have ever been a major contributing factor as a cause of Lupus. A woman could develop Lupus (much more common in women) and have implants. And implants can at times cause complications and especially in the past, have been dangerous. But, those things were glossed over in favor of creating a public issue. Within months, Oprah had caused a mini epidemic of psychosomatic Lupus in women with implants. It went from 2 cases to over 10,000 mind you, in months.