EDUC 6125 Ethical Implications of the Use of Data and Statistics

EDUC 6125 Ethical Implications of the Use of Data and Statistics


Few people are surprised when politicians are accused of misusing data, but the misrepresentation of information is a fairly common occurrence in other settings as well. For example, teachers may be disheartened by the data coming from their school district’s presentations concerning student performance. Or a training manager may be taken by surprise when the funding is cut for a training program he believes is worthwhile. While the numbers or data may not be false, they may be presented in a way that creates a false impression.


For this Discussion, recall the examples from this week’s Learning Resources regarding how data can be misused or misinterpreted. Also reflect on the old adage: “Figures never lie, but all liars figure.” Then, bring to mind a situation or study in which numbers or statistics were used improperly, or come up with your own example of how this could be done. With these thoughts in mind:


By Day 3

Post a description of a situation/study or hypothetical example in which data or statistics are presented in a way that either intentionally or unintentionally misleads the reader or listener.


Required Readings

Locke, L. F., Silverman, S. J., & Spirduso, W. W. (2009). Reading and understanding research (3rd ed.). Los Angeles: Sage Publications.


Table 6.1, “Names of Common Statistical Procedures”

Table 6.2, “Purpose, Names, and Examples of Research Techniques Used in Quantitative Research”

Appendix B, “Statistics: A Beginner’s Guide”

Fink, A. (2020). Conducting research literature reviews: From the Internet to paper (5th ed.). Los Angeles: Sage Publications.


Chapter 3, “Searching and Screening: Methodological Quality (Part 2—Collection, Interventions, Analysis, Results, and Conclusion”

“Purpose of This Chapter”

“Data Collection and Data Sources: Methods and Measures”

“Reviewing Qualitative Research” (subsection of “Information Analysis: Statistical Methods in the Research Literature”)

All other sections are highly recommended, but not required.

Bhattacherjee, A. (2012). Social science research: Principles, methods, and practices. Retrieved from


Chapter 14: Quantitative Analysis: Descriptive Statistics

Chapter 15: Quantitative Analysis: Inferential Statistics

Chapter 16: Research Ethics

Required Media

Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.). Lying with statistics [Video file]. Retrieved from

In this program, you will explore examples of how data/statistics and visual representation of data can be manipulated to misrepresent the findings of a research.


Optional Resources

Statistics How To. (2016). Misleading graphs: Real life examples. Retrieved from


Statistics Canada (2013). Misinterpretation of statistics. Retrieved from…


Walden University. (2015). New to stats? An introduction to statistics and SPSS for Walden students. Retrieved from…


Walden University. (n.d.). Research resources: Research design & analysis. Retrieved from…

Note: Focus on section, “Quantitative Research Design and Analysis”



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