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Poll Results

Poll 199: If you sampled random Internet users, their average intelligence would be:

Total votes: 2652

Much greater than average: 17 (0.6%)
Greater than average: 377 (14.2%)
Average: 1597 (60.2%)
Lower than average: 394 (14.9%)
Much lower than average: 267 (10.1%)  

This poll was deliberately constructed to be as straightforward-seeming-but-actually-ambiguous as possible. The questions a decent statistician would ask would include:

  • Sample how?
  • Random in what sense?
  • How do you define an Internet user?
  • How many users?
  • What exactly do you mean by average?
  • What exactly do you mean by intelligence?
  • Compared to what, exactly?
I'm quite pleased that I only received one e-mail addressing any of these ambiguities, and even that merely to ask if the poll had been intentionally constructed in this way. The rest of you just made up your own minds and picked an answer! Excellent work, my students! :-)

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This work is copyright and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported Licence by David Morgan-Mar. dmm@irregularwebcomic.net