incomprehensible statistics

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incomprehensible statistics

Post by navi » Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:19 pm

Consider the following statistics:


"In over 1/3 of marriages, one or both partners admit to cheating.

22% of men say that they've cheated on their significant other.

14% of women admit to cheating on their significant other.

36% of men and women admit to having an affair with a coworker.

17% of men and women admit to having an affair with a sister-in-law or brother-in-law."


SOURCE:

https://www.truthaboutdeception.com/che ... elity.html


Now, what is one to make of those figures?!

It seems to me that

A) 36% of men and women admit to having an affair with a coworker.

Is really supposed to mean:
B) 36% of men and women who cheated on their partner admit to....

Or else, figures wouldn't match at all.

And the 'men and women' thing is truly confusing. I don't think it means 36% of men and 36% of women... it just means 36% of cheaters... it just wants to drive in the idea that both men and women do it, and assumes we'll figure out that the percentages differ.

What do you think?

Gratefully,
Navi.
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Re: incomprehensible statistics

Post by BonnieL » Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:41 am

I think that's why it is said there are lies, damn lies, and statistics.
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Re: incomprehensible statistics

Post by Erik_Kowal » Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:44 am

This is the kind of complicated statistical situation where a Venn diagram is a particularly useful tool for understanding the whole picture, but only if you can get rid of all the ambiguities and lack of clarity in the descriptions.

For instance, were all the people having an affair with a coworker either married or in another primary relationship at the time? (A question that you also apparently had.) Were some of them technically still married, but in practice no longer regarding themselves as part of a couple? If the infidelity of one or both of the partners is consensual, does that really count as cheating? What proportion of cheaters were in same-sex relationships? How many were serial cheaters? How exactly do you define 'affair'? Does it require some kind of genital involvement in order to count, or can it encompass merely kissing or holding hands, or even just a deep friendship? And the description "one or both partners" leaves a great deal open to interpretation.

In short, I don't think it's worth trying to puzzle out the details of this kind of scenario unless you start out with clear definitions and much more complete information. But as I've shown, this isn't straightforward.
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Re: incomprehensible statistics

Post by tony h » Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:31 pm

navi wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:19 pm
A) 36% of men and women admit to having an affair with a coworker.
Someone has to say it: that is one busy co-worker! :)


I am with Erik on this one. The statistics are all too woolly to make any sense of them.

It does seem to me that the first statement is about marriages the next two, I would expect, would be about relationships that were not marriages hence the use of "significant other". Finally the last two would be about "all people" married or not.

P.S. I remember seeing an odd pair of statistics which went along the lines: 70% of marriages end in divorce and 60% of married people never divorce. Seemingly an impossible set of statistics. The oddity was resolved when one understood that people who married and divorced were often serial marryiers and divorcers. ie they married and divorced within the same set of people; obviously the ones who stayed married remained unavailable.

I find it a shame that so much time is given to statistics on divorce and much less on staying together.
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Signature: tony

I'm puzzled therefore I think.

Re: incomprehensible statistics

Post by trolley » Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:06 pm

If your head is in the oven and your feet are in the freezer, on average you are quite comfortable...
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Re: incomprehensible statistics

Post by Phil White » Sun Jan 14, 2018 2:58 pm

I feel left out. Nobody has ever tried to have an affair with me...
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Signature: Phil White
Non sum felix lepus

Re: incomprehensible statistics

Post by tony h » Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:11 am

Phil White wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 2:58 pm
I feel left out. Nobody has ever tried to have an affair with me...
Phil: I'll PM you from my alter ego of Hypatia x
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Signature: tony

I'm puzzled therefore I think.

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