Tag Archives | charts

How to Mislead People with Graphics that Lie

The folks at Relatively Interesting have deconstructed how easy it is to manipulate graphs in order to strengthen one’s agenda.

Here’s the first thing chart/graph-makers do to twist our perceptions:

1 – Use broken scales to exaggerate drama, even if there isn’t any.

break-scale-in-bar-graph

Looks like the Yankees are killing it (graph above).  On quick glance, the graphic on the left  implies that they’re winning three or four time as many games as the Red Sox.  But upon further inspection, once the scale is adjusted, we see the difference more like 11%.

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Fox News’ Visually Distorted Charts

FlowingData points out a recent graphic from a story on Fox News showing the unemployment rate changes under Obama. The numbers are presumably correct, but do not seem to correspond to the rise and fall of the visual, in which, for instance, 8.6 is a higher number than 8.8 or 8.9. Ah, the “Fox Chart” — what does it mean? Is it a work of postmodern art?

00 Fox

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