NU Ideas

NU Ideas Volume 4, Number 2


Nagoya University Multidisciplinary Journal

Proceedings of the Second Symposium on
Academic Writing and Critical Thinking

Statistics: A way to support or undermine one's arguments?

Miriam Seel
Nagoya University

Writing is essential when creating a thesis or article. While writing, theories are connected, the previous research is introduced, and in the end, one's own hypotheses or assumptions are presented. In order to test these hypotheses, many areas use data, either taken from experiments or surveys for instance. These data are then analyzed with the help of statistics, and based on the results, conclusions are drawn. During that process, students as well as researchers should rely on their knowledge of statistics to avoid potential traps and fallacies based on which wrong outcomes might result. However, often, mistakes happen as human reasoning is far from perfect. In order to better understand these fallacies and other problems associated with statistics, this article will describe issues of data presentation, data analysis as well as data interpretation, including the concepts behind statistics.

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