The Taste Test Module

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Day 1: Cola Wars and We have a Winner

We have a winner:

Now you have a winner of the taste test (really, more of a survey) consider the following question.  If you were to announce the winner to the world, what would you say?

Would the headlines be:

"The superior beverage in the U.S. is ... (insert your winner)"


"The favorite drink of the people we surveyed is ... (insert your winner)"

Aha! Do you have any right to claim that the people of the United States all love the winning beverage?
Then, how do manufacturers and political spinsters, during elections, claim that a product or candidate is preferred based on only the opinions of thousands or fewer people?

The answer is, those who make the claims, do so because they feel their findings are significant. To understand what is significant we must look at statistics.

The reason your findings, as raw data, are still not significant is that you have not sufficiently ruled out the possibility that your result is possible by chance, i.e. a freak occurrence, fluke, or random event. You need to prove to a reasonable level that this is not so.

For an example of how to do this  go to the next lesson!

-Back to Cola Wars-   -Go to Day 2-3 Lesson-