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How to Lie with Statistics is a book written by Darrell Huff in 1954 presenting an introduction to statistics for the general reader. Huff was a journalist who wrote many “how to” articles as a freelancer, but was not a statistician.

The book is a brief, breezy, illustrated volume outlining common errors, both intentional and unintentional, associated with the interpretation of statistics, and how these errors can lead to inaccurate conclusions. It has become one of the best-selling statistics books in history, with over one and a half million copies sold in the English-language edition, even though the monetary examples have become dated because of inflation.[1] It has also been widely translated.

Themes of the book include “Correlation does not imply causation” and “Using Random Sampling”. It also shows how statistical graphs can be used to distort reality, for example by truncating the bottom of a line or bar chart, so that differences seem larger than they are, or by representing one-dimensional quantities on a pictogram by two- or three-dimensional objects to compare their sizes, so that the reader forgets that the images don’t scale the same way the quantities do.

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