logo for solving-math-problems.com
leftimage for solving-math-problems.com

Math - Statistics - The Road Less Traveled











































In an ad for women, the following statement was made: “For every hundred women, 91 have taken the road less traveled.” Comment on this statistic.
(Mathematics in Our World. McGraw-Hill Create p. 804).

Comments for Math - Statistics - The Road Less Traveled

Click here to add your own comments

Sep 25, 2011
Statistics – Misleading Advertisement
by: Staff

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Part II

Your specific question is: Comment on this STATISTIC “For every hundred women, 91 have taken the road less traveled.”

The phrase “the road less traveled” seems to offer the reader an escape from everyday life.

I reproduced the entire poem by Robert Frost (above) because many readers will probably think of it immediately. It is famous and well known. It creates a positive, romanticized feeling about making unusual choices.

The 91% statistic in the advertisement is alluring, but blatantly false.

If 91% of women chose the “road less traveled”, the “road less traveled” would immediately become the “road most traveled”.

The 91% statistic is being used to manipulate the reader in at least three ways:

1. The 91% statistic draws the reader in and piques their curiosity by implying the advertisement will reveal what choices 91% of all women make.

2. The reader is presented with a way to compare herself with 91 percent of all women. (Presumably, the 91% buy the product being advertised, or support the political candidate being advertised, etc. )

3. The statistic also attempts to add credibility to the advertisement. The statistic 91% leads the reader to believe that a scientific study of women’s activities and choices has been completed.

However, the reader cannot tell what the 91% statistic means in practical terms.

The reader cannot tell how many women were used to compute the statistic, where they live, how old they are, what their profession is, when the study was done, and many other things.

For example, 91% of the women in prison probably did take the “road less traveled”. However, this does not create a valid comparison for the average woman.




Thanks for writing.

Staff
www.solving-math-problems.com



Sep 25, 2011
Statistics - Misleading Advertisement
by: Staff

Part I

The question:

In an ad for women, the following statement was made: "For every hundred women, 91 have taken the road less traveled." Comment on this statistic.
(Mathematics in Our World. McGraw-Hill Create p. 804).




The answer:


I presume your question refers to the poem "The Road Not Taken" written by Robert Frost in 1920.

Here is the complete poem:



TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,


And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.


I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.



Frost, Robert. "Road Not Taken." n. page. Web. 25 Sep. 2011. http://www.bartleby.com/119/1.html.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Math Questions & Comments - 01.



Copyright © 2008-2015. All rights reserved. Solving-Math-Problems.com