Grade Level: 6th Skill: Statistics Topic: Misleading Questions and Graphs Goal: Analyze data displays and explain why the way in which the question was asked might have influenced the results obtained and why the way in which the results were displayed might have influenced the conclusions reached. Skill Description: Study data displays (i.e. graphs, charts, tables, etc…) and the wording of questions used to compile a set of data. Determine if the data results and conclusions have been influenced by the data display or question. Understand that biased questions cause misleading data. Biased questions give a prejudiced view of a topic or influence the sample group to answer in a specific way. Data displays can be misleading when the scale suggests changes or differences that are greater than they really are. Analyze the question and presentation of data to determine if it is misleading in any way. Determine of a data conclusion is biased (misleading or unfairly represents the target population) or representative (fairly represents the target population) based on both the question asked and data display.

## Building Blocks/Prerequisites

### Sample Problems

 (1) Determine whether the survey question is biased or representative. Explain. The high school coach asked all the kids in his P.E. classes the following survey question. Is your favorite sport football? (This question is biased, because the coach is suggesting football as a favorite by naming it.) (2) Determine whether the survey question is biased or representative. Explain. The high school coach asked all the kids in his P.E. classes the following survey question. What is your favorite sport? (This question is unbiased, because it does not suggest any sport and allows the respondent to answer without any direction.) (3) Determine whether the survey question is biased or representative. Explain. Sal wanted to find the most popular ice cream flavor. He asked, “Is chocolate your favorite ice cream flavor or is it vanilla?” (This question is biased because Sal is suggesting chocolate by stating it first with the word favorite and puts vanilla all the way at the back of the question.) (4) Determine whether the data display is biased or representative. Be sure to look closely at the scale. (This data display is unbiased. The scale uses at regular intervals of 50.) (5) Determine whether the data display is biased or representative. Be sure to look closely at the scale. (This bar graph is misleading because it does not start at zero. It causes the reader to believe that Overachiever has a score almost 3 times greater than Dullsville. However, if you look closely at the scores, Dullsville has 301 points and Overachiever has 305. This nowhere near 3 times greater and in fact, the scores both schools are very close.)

### Online Resources

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