‘Statistics’ isn’t a Scary Word; Just do the Math


Statistics has a bad reputation in some quarters, including, unfortunately, sometimes among people working in youth services. I’m not sure if this is due to an unfortunate experience in a required undergraduate class, a feeling that cold, hard numbers can’t possibly represent the complexity of human reality, or the suspicion that numbers can be manipulated to support absolutely any point of view. Whatever the source, it’s a problem because thinking clearly and making reasoned decisions often requires the ability to understand numerical arguments.

What can an understanding of statistics do for youth services workers? Lots of things . . .

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