STATS 150G Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics

STATS 150G | ARTS, EDSW, LC | Semester Two 2021 | City Campus | 15 points


This course examines the uses, limitations, and abuses of statistical information in a variety of activities such as polling, public health, sport, law, marketing, and the environment.You will explore:

  • the statistical concepts and thinking that lie beneath data-based arguments
  • the comprehension, interpretation, and critical evaluation of statistically-based reports
  • the construction of statistically-sound arguments and reports

Some course material will be drawn from topics currently in the news. The course will include guest speakers who are experts in polling, medical statistics and journalism.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • "Think statistically."
  • Critically evaluate statistically-based reports.
  • Construct statistically-sound reports.

Topics Covered

  • Introduction to media reports
  • Surveys and polls
  • Experimentation
  • Risk
  • Media reports
  • Statistical reasoning

Student Feedback

'I really enjoyed this course and found it very interesting. I found the tutorials very useful and I especially liked the room for class participation and the safe and respectful atmosphere you created for discussion and different opinion. This course has been really special in the sense that it was able to be applied in my everyday life. I would certainly recommend this course to someone else and I would take other papers that led on from it. Thank you for a great course!!'

'Really enjoyed class discussions, practical nature of the course, relevance and topicality of media reports used. STATS150 certainly improved my ability to read and interpret media reports. Clear handouts that were easy to understand. Great lecturers who were enthusiastic about their topics. Tutorials very worthwhile and provided good "hands on" help. I would thoroughly recommend the course to others.'

'Thanks a lot for doing such a great job teaching STATS150. I really enjoyed the course and have already recommended it to some of my friends looking for elective papers.'

'It was good to get a range of different types of reading materials rather than just the text book all the time – a range of material was used in lectures, eg, videos and newspaper articles and a range of guest speakers to place things in the real world.'

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