Monday, July 9, 2012

The Puzzle of You

The previous post offered a Puzzle that showed a t-shirt design that conveyed the wrong idea about a normal curve. The problem is the point meant to indicate "YOU". This point is placed to indicate that "YOU" are on the low end of a scale of measurements.

The problem is, the design places the point on the curve, rather than on the number line that underlies the curve. To see the difficulty, compare the previous t-shirt design with manipulated image above (this is not an available shirt). Placing the point on the curve suggests that it slides along the curve.

Imagine the impression conveyed when it reaches the peak of the curve, as illustrated here. No doubt, "YOU" would say you were at the top of the heap, even though your measurement would be very common, the most likely one that we could observe. This "top of the curve" error is common (no pun intended). The curve is not the distribution, the curve only describes the distribution. The labeled point should be on the supporting number line, not on the curve.

No comments: