Statistics matter when it comes to interpreting and understanding medical issues Critical Essay

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Updated: Jul 8th, 2019

People visit doctors to obtain nutrition advice from them in order to gain tools that can be used to optimize health. However, it seems that certitude of health cannot be found in this manner. Apparently, all advice sought in this way is regarded as pure conjecture and educated guess work. It seems that numbers and statistics have all the answers to answers aimed towards optimizing health.

The interpretation of health tests, treatments and staying well are all based on probability and statistics. An immense measure of statistical appeal in this sense comes from numerous real examples that aid in understanding the underpinnings of health. However, statistics has the likelihood of being misinterpreted which affects attitudes in regards to survival.

In his essay, Stephen Gould affirms that statistics matter when it comes to interpreting and understanding medical issues. Through the real life examples he offers, even the most reluctant person is able to see that statistics does play an important part in every area of life.

According to him, survival is simply a game of probability. A person can live based on a number of factors that play a part in his or her life. At the same time, he argues that correlation is not always a function of causation.

By deftly whisking his audience through the median distributions, he plunges into a lot of regression analysis that separates cause and effect. He also utilizes regression analysis as an engine to explain these two aspects quite clearly. Through this, random statistics can be obtained, which can be used for either good or evil.

This apt demonstration of the success or failure of numbers and statistics is useful for interpretation of various issues. Just like statistics, he also cautions that nothing is certain in this world, but there is also a time for everything to happen.

Dunn insists that those who consider statistics useless are rebellious, and they are missing the point in many aspects. It seems that statistics is of central importance in the interpretation of both present and past events. For instance, he says that past statistics can be used to infer a present situation (Dunn n.p.). This is probably why statistics should be given a lot of importance.

In addition to this, statistics motivate and guide both researchers and scholars as they provide the most reliable options. However, Dunn argues that statistics should be handled with a lot of care. This is because some of the information unearthed by statistical evidence can be quite grim. Statistics should be interpreted and understood in the correct way before being dismissed.

Dunn further agrees with Gould that statistics is just like probability. It should not under any circumstance be used to interpret individual preferences or lives. Statistics is but just a range of possibilities or even a chance of certain events occurring.

The two essays present a nuanced and sophisticated position that recognizes the necessity of statistics or the lack of it in all aspects of life. Not only do the essays unearth significant positions of critical thinking, but they also offer ethical problems to be corrected in the society. It is evident that most doctors are trained to make the worst interpretations from statistical evidence.

They do this without the consideration of differences in individuals, and they can easily mislead patients. This practice of quote mining or quoting out of context is probably what changes attitudes in patients suffering from various chronic diseases.

It seems that death is inevitable once this happens. The two authors (Gould and Dunn) advice against this practice. The problem is the way human beings interpret statistics and not statistics itself.

References

Dunn, Steve. “CancerGuide.” . N.p., Web.

Gould , Stephen Jay. “CancerGuide.” . N.p., Web.

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"Statistics matter when it comes to interpreting and understanding medical issues." IvyPanda, 8 July 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/statistics-matter-when-it-comes-to-interpreting-and-understanding-medical-issues/.

1. IvyPanda. "Statistics matter when it comes to interpreting and understanding medical issues." July 8, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/statistics-matter-when-it-comes-to-interpreting-and-understanding-medical-issues/.

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IvyPanda. "Statistics matter when it comes to interpreting and understanding medical issues." July 8, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/statistics-matter-when-it-comes-to-interpreting-and-understanding-medical-issues/.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "Statistics matter when it comes to interpreting and understanding medical issues." July 8, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/statistics-matter-when-it-comes-to-interpreting-and-understanding-medical-issues/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'Statistics matter when it comes to interpreting and understanding medical issues'. 8 July.