Misleading graphs

Misleading graphs

Graphs are handy when it comes to representing data. However, they can be misleading if they are not done properly. In this section, we will learn how to identify the mistakes, and avoid them when we draw graphs.

Lessons

  • 1.
    The numbers of cars sold by 3 dealers were displayed in a bar graph.
    Misleading graphs bar graph
    a)
    How many times taller does the bar for dealer A than the bar for dealer B?

    b)
    What is the difference in number of cars sold by dealer A and dealer B?

    c)
    What false perception can be easily made by the graph?

    d)
    Redraw the graph to make the display of the data more accurate.


  • 2.

    Misleading graphs pictogram
    a)
    From the pictograph above, which kind of food sold the best? Explain.

    b)
    Does it look like more ice cream cones were sold than fries? Why?

    c)
    Redraw the pictograph so that it represents the data more accurately.


  • 3.
    The following graph shows the marks that two students got for their final exam.
    Misleading graphs
    a)
    Why is this graph misleading?

    b)
    What suggestion is made by this graph about the marks of John and that of Peter?

    c)
    Explain how this graph can be redrawn so that the data can be represented more accurately.


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