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Survey of Mathematical Methods Essay

I chose problem number 6:
6. In an ad for moisturizing lotion, the following claim is made; “… it’s the # 1 dermatologist recommended brand.” What is misleading about the claim (Bluman, 2005)?

Suspect samples, detached statistics, and implied connections are all used in this misleading claim. Companies use a variety of different techniques to help promote and sell their products. Marketing firm’s advertisings can be very persuasive to buyers. This claim is very misleading because there is not enough data given to back up their statement that the lotion is the # 1 dermatologist recommended brand. There was no information on how many dermatologists were involved in the testing, or how many other brands were actually tested. Was the sample random? How many other brands were in the testing? Were the other brands tested a high quality?

How many dermatologists participated in the testing? Were the dermatologist used in the testing familiar with all the lotions available and tested this particular lotion against the most well-known for skin problems? What feature or result of the lotion was the most impressive? The texture? It’s longevity? The perfume smell? The size or amount? The price? The lotions functionality? Was this testing for one function of the lotion or for the lotions overall qualities? Without a side to side comparison or at least data showing the differences between this lotion and others I would say buyer beware.

b. Select one even problem from exercises 11 through 22 on pages 811-812. As you answer the questions above, identify what types of misrepresentation or misuse have been demonstrated by referring to the bold blue headings in the “Chapter 12 Supplement” (e.g., Suspect Samples, Asking Biased Questions, Misleading Graphs, etc.). The assignment must include (a) all math work required to answer the problems as well as (b) introduction and conclusion paragraphs (Bluman, 2005). a. Your introduction should include three to five sentences of general information about the topic at hand (Bluman, 2005).

b. The body must contain a restatement of the problems and all math work, including the steps and formulas used to solve the problems (Bluman, 2005).

c. Your conclusion must comprise a summary of the problems and the reason you selected a particular method to solve them. It would also be appropriate to include a statement as to what you learned and how you will apply the knowledge gained in this exercise to real-world situations (Bluman, 2005).

I chose problem number 14:

14. “How often do you run red lights?”
I think that this is a great example of a biased and misleading question. The question looks simple enough if an individual does not really think about it. Several people might even answer the question without giving any thought to it even people who do not drive might answer this question. Individuals who do run red lights might be tempted to lie. The way this question is phrased seems to state that the person answering the question runs red lights.

When a question is phrased this way there is generally multiple choice answers like: every day, once a week, every two weeks, once a month, once every three months, twice a year, etc. The answers to this question could be used to draft different laws, and to change the fines for running red lights, or it can be used to increase the insurance rates for the individuals. The question should be more direct like: “Have you run red lights” or “Do you run red lights”.

Reference
Bluman, A. G. (2005). Mathematics in our world (1st ed. Ashford University Custom). United States: McGraw-Hill


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