Press release shows someone doesn’t understand statistics

Yesterday, the Sensible Sentencing Trust released a press release saying that New Zealanders want the Sensible Sentencing Trust’s “Three-Strike Youth Justice System”. To prove this, they gave an online poll held by Yahoo New Zealand.

This is not reliable evidence. Reliable evidence would be a survey prepared by a market research firm. In market research, they exclude responses by those directly involved with the process, because their answers will be tainted. An online poll does not. Furthermore, did the Sensible Sentencing Trust, or another organisation that is a proponent for the justice system in question, promote the poll on Facebook for example. If they did, that will completely void the results, because there will be an disproportional level of results. I don’t know if this did actually happen, but it doesn’t change the fact that there is a good chance it did.

I can’t say I’m actually against the idea. I haven’t really thought that much about it. And I’m not trying to say I am against the idea. What I am against, however, is groups labeling something evidence when it clearly is not.

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About Daniel Farrell

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Posted on June 22, 2011, in New Zealand Politics and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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