Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Math Literacy - It's not just for breakfast, you know.

The stat of the day ...
OCTOBER 17, 2012

Don't Believe People Who Say They Work 60 Hours a Week

That's very interesting.
People overstate the number of weekly hours they "usually" work by 5% to 10%, with those on the higher end being more likely to overestimate, according to a study led by John P. Robinson of the University of Maryland. By examining U.S. workers' time diaries, the researchers found that people who say they usually work 55 to 64 hours per week are off by an average of about 10 hours; people who say they work 65 to 74 hours are overstating by about 20 hours. Respondents may inflate their estimates because of a desire to appear industrious, the researchers suggest.
Okay. Listen up.
If you're going to have a blog called Stat of the Day, you need to adhere to some basic rules.
  1. Don't make stupid math errors.
  2. Don't quote stupid research.
  • If a person claimed 55 to 64 hours and is off by 10 hours, then they worked 45 to 54 hours. 
  • If a person claimed 65 to 74 hours and is off by 20 hours, then they worked 45 to 54 hours. 
These two statements should not be separate - people only work 45 to 54 hours, regardless of what they claim.
  •  Overestimating by 5% to 10% on 45 to 54 hours of real work does not make you 10 hours off in your estimate.

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