Wk2 Statistics: Misleading Graphs

Wk2 Statistics: Misleading Graphs

Wk2 Statistics: Misleading Graphs

Can inaccurate graphs bias the interpretation of data? Graphs provide a visual representation of data meant to provide information. Here are three graphs that may present data in an inaccurate or misleading manner.  Choose one graph for this discussion and answer the questions based on your chosen graph.


Graph 1 was used to display changes in the Unemployment Rate over 12 months

Graph 2 was used to display pizza topping preferences based on a survey of people living in the United Kingdom

Graph 3 was used to display the number of complaints reported for six different airlines per the US Department of Transportation in February 2013.


For this discussion, you are to choose one graph, and complete these steps based on the graph you chose:


· State the graph you chose.

· Discuss how you interpreted the graph when you first saw it.

· What did it tell you about the data represented?

· Did you find it confusing?

· Now, study the graph. Use your understanding of the topics Graphs, Pie Charts, and Bar Charts to interpret what is being presented.

· Compare your first impression with your second more informed interpretation and answer the following:

· Is the information presented in a biased way (that is, is it misleading?)

· What information is being misinterpreted here? How?

· What type of graph was used and was it used correctly?

· How could you correct the graph so that it more accurately represents the data?

· Discuss why someone might intentionally use a graph to mislead?

Please be sure to validate your opinions and ideas with citations and references in APA format.


Peer Response:

Unit 2 Discussion – Misleading Graphs


Please respond to a minimum of two peers  who chose a different graph than you did . Include in your response:

· Compare and contrast your initial understanding of the information presented in the graph with theirs.

· Describe whether and how you agree/disagree with their assessment of how the graph presented the data in a biased way?

· Share your thoughts on how to improve the way the data were presented.

Please be sure to validate your opinions and ideas with citations and references in APA format.



Response one:


I chose graph 3, US Department of Transportation. When I first saw the graph I wondered why they didn’t have more airlines on the graph, but I also wondered how many flights each airline had to get the number of complaints they received. I feel like the data represented was misleading, because the airlines with the high number of complaints could have had way more flights going in and out, and/or they could have also had way more passengers than other airlines. I found the number of complaints to be very clear and for which airlines, but I am unsure about the number of passengers that flew each airline in February 2013. The information is presented in the Bar chart/graph is the number of passenger complaints on six different airlines received for February 2013. United Airlines had the most complaints while Pinnacle Airlines and Air train Airlines tied with the least amount of complaints.



I think that the information is very clear. If we are assuming that each airline had a similar number of flights and passengers then the information would be presented in a non-biased way. I think that the information that is misinterpreted is it states that it is total passenger complaints and that could be assumed that each airline had the same amount of passengers. Although they are all airlines, each airline could be different in services provided, the number of flights taken, passengers on board, and what is included in each airline ticket when purchased. The graph used is a bar graph/chart. “Bar charts use rectangles to represent data in two dimensions, one axis showing the category, and the other showing the value of the variable.”(Realize It)  I believe it was used correctly because it represented two dimensions: airlines and the number of complaints each airline received in February 2013. I would try to make the graph more accurate by adding the total of passengers on the airline.

Misleading Information

This graph is labeled total passenger complaints, but I think it is misleading because it never actually says the total number of passengers on each airline, it just states the number of complaints. If one of the airlines had way more passengers I would expect they may have more complaints.


RealizeIt. (n.d.). Visualizing and Describing Date. Retrieved March 15, 2021, from https://herzing.realizeithome.com/RealizeitApp/Student.aspx (Links to an external site.)?


Response Two:

I was drawn to the airlines graph the most because I love traveling.  My first impression just looking at it tells me that United Airlines might not be the best airline to travel with because they get many complaints and Alaska Airlines might be a better company to fly with because they do not receive many complaints.  United Airlines had more than 120 complaints in 2013 however, does that mean the entire year or in one month.  The Graph does not really give us the time frame.

Bar Charts are 2D charts that show the category on one side and the other side shows the valuable of the variable. The Information in this graph the category is the flight, and the variable is number of patient who has called and complained. I would say this graph could be very misleading because there are may airline companies that are not listed.  The person creating the graph could be a very big fan of Spirit air and not have it listed because their complaints are higher than united airlines.  We also do not know the time frame these complaints have been collected.  Is it for the year 2013 only is it for a month, or is it entirely? The graph is correct because it is quantitative continuous information.  I would Add more information to the graph, all the time frame the data was collected and I would add all of the airlines to be more accurately represented. Wk2 Statistics: Misleading Graphs

Unit 1 Topic 4 Graphs, Statistics MA320-8B, Online Course Content, Canvas,  https://herzing.instructure.com