Thursday, October 6, 2016

A misleading infographic about fears from Dr. Oz The Good Life magazine

Page 32 of the October 2016 issue of Dr. Oz The Good Life magazine has an Halloween Special article by freelance writer Gina Roberts-Grey titled Fear Factor. That article ends on page 34 with an infographic titled These Are a Few of the Scariest Things. It lists ten percentages (for percent Very Afraid or Afraid) that were taken from the 2015 Chapman Survey on American Fears. For each fear the percentage also is shown via a donut chart with an icon in its center.  But she did not bother listing where those fears ranked from #1 to #89.  They actually are:

Terrorist Attacks    44.4%   # 4

Reptiles                    33.0%  #17

Tornadoes                31.4%   #20

Public Speaking      28.4%   #26

Heights                    28.0%   #28

Needles                    18.5%   #52

Germs                      16.5%   #55

Flying                       15.2%   #61

Blood                        12.2%  #70

Ghosts                        9.7%   #78

Note that only one fear is listed from the Top Ten, just three are from the Top Twenty, and only five are from the Top Thirty. The other five aren’t even in the Top Fifty, which means they are a long way from really being The Scariest Things. It’s a frighteningly silly list!

On June 25, 2016 I blogged about How could you spin the results of a fear survey where public speaking wasn’t even in the top 5, 10, or 20? Gina Roberts-Grey’s article is another example of leaving out the rankings. 

The image is an angry selfie of Rembrandt from the Library of Congress

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