Critical Thinking & Information Literacy
Across the Curriculum
Statistical Reasoning and Misleading Claims with Numbers
Philosophy 115 Assignment 10:
The goal of this assignment is to help students apply lectures and readings
on statistical reasoning to cases from real life.
1. Students are asked to find an example of statistical claim, or a claim involving
numbers, that they take to be misleading, vague, or uninformative. Students can find
these in newspapers or magazines and should bring their example to class. (An
alternative way of doing this assignment would be to have the instructor bring
newspaper and magazines to class that the students could look through in teams
of 2 and find examples.)
2. In class, students are paired up. Each pair of students discusses their
examples by answering the following questions:
What is the claim that is being made, and why is it vague, misleading, or uninformative?
What additional information would be required to make the claim less vague or misleading
or more informative?