Sometimes, it's just a cigar

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Psychic commentators

You have to admire CiF hacks like Holly Baxter. The IPPR report on young people and internet porn won;t even be published for another week but she’s managed to conjure a think piece about porn and young people out of the press release and the data on the website.

Ah yes, the data.

Now, I’m a bit of a geek. I like data. So I looked at the data the IPPR used for its research into young people and porn. They interviewed 500 young people. 37% of the young people came from London and the South East. According to the government 27% of the population live in London and the South East. Does London have so many extra young people that it justified being over-represented by 33% in the survey? Not according to the government, no.

So what? Well, the data might be skewed if you, for instance, over-sampled a segment of the population who had different, or easier, access to the internet.

Where do you find the  best internet access by region? Why, London and the South East. So, is this survey statistically reliable? Probably not. It’s a collection of snapshots, nothing more. In August, put out by a think tank eager for publicity, it’s gold dust, but unlike gold dust, intrinsically, it’s worthless.

It’s a shame, because there’s some data I would find fascinating if it were reliable, but it’s not.


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This entry was posted on August 20, 2014 by in Uncategorized.

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