Not surprising: newspapers fail on statistics

“Commuters using Bank station are the most likely to be overcharged on their Oyster card, figures reveal.” claims the Evening Standard. Unfortunately they then helpfully provide these figures in the same piece and reveal the rather gaping logic flaw in the report. The “most likely” stations to overcharge all seem to be the stations with the highest traffic. In fact it’s a list of the stations which have overcharged the most. Which is completely different from getting charged by chance. The fact that Bank, King’s Cross and Victoria underground stations have charged the most is probably more reflective on the huge volume of national, international and exchange traffic these stations have rather than a sinister conspiracy to install especially faulty oyster machines at the big traffic stations! They’re going to need to do something simple called an average if they’re going to start writing about likelihood!


About lenty

22 year old medical statistician living in London. I love drone music, F1, politicians and reading fantasy/sci-fi/dystopian fiction. Generally I post about a mixture of all the above plus the movies I watch!
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