Misuse of Statistics? Examples?

Hi, I am doing an essay for Maths on the misuse of statistics (generally). I am struggling for examples and I would appreciate it if people could give me examples of where statistics are misused and how they are misused. I have looked at some of the L'Oreal Paris adverts which evidently show a lot of 'misused statistics'.

Help is much appreciated, Thank you.

2 Answers

  • 7 years ago
    Favorite Answer


    Youtube thumbnail

    This is a men’s l’oreal anti-ageing product, and had been advertised by two different actors on TV.

    The statistic used in this advertisement states ” 75% of 109 agree”. To begin with, a sample of 109 is far too small to generalise to the rest of the population of men in the world. Also, 75% of 109 is only 81 men. When you hear in an advertisement that 75% agree that a product works well, you think its a large enough amount for you to believe that the product will work well for you, and go out to buy it. However, if you looked at advertising statistics more closely, and like in this case realised that the 75% is only 81 people, perhaps this would change your opinion on whether a product is actually that good and worth buying.

    Another issue about the statistics used in this advertisement is that is says “75% agree”…but agree with what? The actor in the advert claims that this product provides 5 actions that work on your skin, but then only goes on to mention 3 of these actions which are that your skin becomes smoother, firmer, and revitalised. Does this mean that out of the sample of 109 men that were tested, the 81 that agreed, agreed that the product makes their skin smoother, firmer and revitalised, or that the 5 actions (two of which are not mentioned) work on their skin? What makes this situation even more unclear is that when I researched this product further, I found that it was created for the purpose of combating the signs of male skin fatigue. Were the sample of 109 tested for improvements on their skin fatigue, or whether their skin became smoother, firmer and revitalised after product use? Did the sample tested even have skin fatigue? The questions raised outline clear sampling and testing issues, which can affect how reliable and valid the statistic presented really is.

    The last issue about the misuse of statistics in this advertisement I am going to mention, is the age of the actors used in the advertisement in relation to the product use. In the you-tube clip in this blog, the actor named Hugh Laurie is 45 years old, and he states in this advertisement that he is 45, and implies that this is the age where something needs to be done about ageing skin. What is interesting to note is that another actor, Gerard Butler has also been used to advertise the same product, however he is 41 years old.

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  • Bonnie
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    There are no ``bad`` ethnic groups. There are only ``bad`` individuals. Bad individuals come from all different ethnic groups. There are bad Norwegian people aren`t there? I am Canadian and I know that there are bad Canadian people as well. One thing you must learn is that people all over the world always blame and label other people who are different from them as bad. This has been happening since the beginning of human time. I don`t see it stopping anytime soon. We must all learn to live in peace. All groups of people have good and bad people in their respective groups. The media portrays different people in different lights depending on which group the media belongs to. Afterall, do you not think that the Muslim people and the Muslim media portray the Norwegian people or the ``West`` as bad, evil, rapists, stupid and criminals? If you don`t think so, think again!! The majority of Muslim people are not ``bad``--just as the majority of westerners are not ``bad``. There are a few in each group who make the rest look bad by committing horrific acts. We must not let the actions of a few radical people colour our views of all--on both sides!

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