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Journalism? Statistics? Nonsense...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by The Halk, 18 May 2012.

  1. The Halk

    Capodecina

    Joined: 13 May 2003

    Posts: 11,862

    Location: Hamilton

    BBC article - MP defies 58,000/1 odds in ballot

    Estimated at 58K? Who by? A seven year old with a crayon? 240 entered the draw this year, oh and what a coincidence 240 squared is 57,600. Rounding takes care of the rest.

    So they're saying that the odds of an MP being selected twice are approx 58K to 1.

    The odds are actually 240 to 1. The odds of rolling the same number twice on a six sided dice are 1 in 6, not 1 in 36.

    Anyone with no grasp of basic statistics needs to go back to school.
     
  2. Zefan

    Don

    Joined: 15 Jan 2006

    Posts: 31,237

    Location: Tosche Station

    It isn't 1 in 6 though.
     
  3. Josh P

    Hitman

    Joined: 29 Sep 2009

    Posts: 861

    Location: Cambs, UK

    The odds of an MP winning twice is 240 to 1. Him winning twice is 58k to 1, but the chance of him winning again is 240 to 1. So his comment about visiting the bookies a few days ago is a little off...
     
  4. The Halk

    Capodecina

    Joined: 13 May 2003

    Posts: 11,862

    Location: Hamilton

    Really? I'm scratching my head and trying to work out why it wouldn't be...
     
  5. One

    Soldato

    Joined: 24 Aug 2011

    Posts: 6,162

    Location: ABQ, NM

    This.

    The odds of it happening separelty are both 1 in 6, but to happen one after another is the probabilities multiplied together.

    Your main point about journalists basically making up stats is correct though. In Brazil you have to have to be educated and have a license to be a journalist.
     
  6. Zefan

    Don

    Joined: 15 Jan 2006

    Posts: 31,237

    Location: Tosche Station

    You roll a die and you get 3. That was a 1 in 6 chance. To roll again and get a 3 is also 1 in 6 YES, but what you actually said was about the probability of the event "rolling twice and getting the same number", which actually is 1/36.
     
  7. The Halk

    Capodecina

    Joined: 13 May 2003

    Posts: 11,862

    Location: Hamilton

    The odds of rolling the same number on a dice twice are 1 in 6. I can't think how it couldn't be. There are 36 possible outcomes, and 6 of those are rolling the same number twice.
     
  8. One

    Soldato

    Joined: 24 Aug 2011

    Posts: 6,162

    Location: ABQ, NM

    If it was 1 in 6 then that would be like saying you have a 1 in 4 chance of getting 100% in an exam with 1000 questions each with 4 options, which is of course nonsense. You have a 1 in 4 chance of getting a question right, i.e. you'll average 25%, not 100%.
     
  9. hibernian1875

    Gangster

    Joined: 14 May 2011

    Posts: 496

    Location: Edinburgh

    It is 1 in 6. Pairs of 1,1 + 2,2 + 3,3 + 4,4 + 5,5 + 6,6 is 6 pairs and there's 36 combinations so 6 in 36 or 1 in 6. The odds to roll a predetermined number pair so 1,1 is 1 in 36 though.
     
    Last edited: 18 May 2012
  10. One

    Soldato

    Joined: 24 Aug 2011

    Posts: 6,162

    Location: ABQ, NM

    TROLLLLOLOLOLOLOLOL
     
  11. The Halk

    Capodecina

    Joined: 13 May 2003

    Posts: 11,862

    Location: Hamilton

    That's exactly the way I see it. Why would I be saying it was a predetermined number?
     
  12. Zefan

    Don

    Joined: 15 Jan 2006

    Posts: 31,237

    Location: Tosche Station

    What the article states is that he has beaten those odds by being picked/coming top twice.

    That's the same as saying "number 3 has a 1/36 chance of coming up twice".

    :edit: Urgh, you're going to twist what I've said because I've left holes in it. Damn my tired mind :(

    What Pudney says below.
     
  13. Pudney

    Soldato

    Joined: 6 Sep 2005

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    Location: Essex

    Because your OP is about a predetermined person
     
  14. The Halk

    Capodecina

    Joined: 13 May 2003

    Posts: 11,862

    Location: Hamilton

    The article is saying an MP has come up twice and that's the same as 58K to 1 odds. The article would have been written regardless of who the MP was. It's not remarkable that it was John McDonnell twice rather than Douglas Carswell twice, it's remarkable that it was the same MP 2 years in a row and they're saying the odds are 58K to 1.
     
  15. hibernian1875

    Gangster

    Joined: 14 May 2011

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    Location: Edinburgh

    The odds prior to his first election for him to be elected twice would be 58k to 1, then after he's been elected it would be 240 to 1 to be re-elected. Think that should simplify it enough.
     
  16. Zefan

    Don

    Joined: 15 Jan 2006

    Posts: 31,237

    Location: Tosche Station

    If they said that the chances of him winning again were 58k to 1 then yeah, I see your point, but they didn't. They said the chances of him winning twice were.
     
  17. The Halk

    Capodecina

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    Posts: 11,862

    Location: Hamilton

  18. hibernian1875

    Gangster

    Joined: 14 May 2011

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    Location: Edinburgh

    I do think I get what you're saying after re-reading everything... the odds for any MP to be elected twice is 240 to 1. So meaning that every 240 times it should happen once. As in out of 58k times it would happen 240 times (due to there being 240 MPs)
     
  19. Zefan

    Don

    Joined: 15 Jan 2006

    Posts: 31,237

    Location: Tosche Station

    If before either of these events took place you calculated the odds of that specific person winning twice, you would get the 58k value. You don't need to explain statistics to me, I understand exactly what you mean but it doesn't apply to what they've stated. What they're implying, maybe... but since when has the news ever implied sensible things :p?
     
  20. The Halk

    Capodecina

    Joined: 13 May 2003

    Posts: 11,862

    Location: Hamilton

    Precisely, and it's irrelevant to their article which MP it was. They're reporting on a 240 to 1 chance as if it's something truly remarkable, and reporting it as a 58,000 to 1 chance.

    The case I linked is of a Dutch nurse who was convicted of multiple murders essentially based on the statistical probability of her having been innocent as 1 in 342 million - it was a fallacy and overturned (after an unsuccessful appeal).

    Basically it's about looking at an event in retrospect and saying it's incredible because of the chances of it happening were very small.