Last Build Date: Thu, 20 Oct 2016 01:15:16 EDTCopyright: copyright © 2016 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Thu, 19 Jun 2008 23:34:00 EDTThe "Family Feud" is one of the few neutral parties measuring what Americans think when they're not thinking about politics. Its surveys are designed with rigor, but pollsters aren't entirely won over by the methodology.
Thu, 10 Apr 2008 22:40:00 EDTReaching 100 years of age is a milestone celebrated in local newspapers, on the "Today" show and in greeting cards from the White House. But counting how many people are celebrating these birthdays is tricky. (Discuss)
Mon, 31 Mar 2008 20:46:00 EDTThe news that China recently surpassed the U.S. in Web users garnered a lot of attention, but the U.S. actually is still ahead by some counts. (Discuss)
Sun, 16 Mar 2008 21:30:00 EDTThe readability formula used by Microsoft Word purports to represent the text's appropriate grade level. But its results are questionable. (Forum)
Thu, 14 Feb 2008 21:25:00 ESTWeb sites mash up polling data in political races to smooth out aberrant results, but the polls themselves are often too different from each other to deserve equal weight.
Thu, 24 Jan 2008 23:38:00 ESTConventional wisdom says people released after serving time for sex crimes are likely to strike again. The numbers aren't as certain.
Thu, 10 Jan 2008 21:51:00 ESTA fast-food quarter-pounder requires 1,300 gallons of water to produce, but a loaf of bread uses up 150 gallons. The message, which supports calls to eat less meat, is broadly correct, but the number itself is disputed.
Mon, 26 Feb 2007 00:33:00 EST"The Number 23," a new thriller starring Jim Carrey, shows how just about any number can appear to have eerie properties if you look hard enough. Such as the number 24. Plus, join a discussion.
Thu, 15 Feb 2007 08:44:00 ESTA trade group for farmers is promoting a holiday aimed at "celebrating the continued affordability of food." But the group uses some murky math to crunch the numbers on how much Americans spend on food. Plus, join a discussion.
Fri, 09 Feb 2007 23:22:00 ESTNielsen is expanding its TV ratings to include college students living in dorms, a group that had previously been excluded from the research firm's numbers. The students are already having a huge impact on ratings for some shows, but national stats are being based on a survey of just 130 viewers. Plus, join a discussion.
Wed, 31 Jan 2007 21:16:00 ESTA promotion from Coke offers big-screen TVs, expensive trips and other prizes to loyal Coke drinkers. But to obtain the loot, customers need to jump through a lot of hoops. Claiming some of the biggest prizes could require you to drink thousands of bottles of soda, and repeatedly visit a Web site over several months. Plus, join a discussion.
Mon, 29 Jan 2007 16:45:00 ESTCan winning a Nobel Prize or Oscar really add years to your life? Carl Bialik examines scientific studies that purport to measure the effect of status on longevity. Plus, join a discussion.
Sun, 21 Jan 2007 23:30:00 ESTMurder stats are making headlines around the country, as cities publish their 2006 figures. But those numbers may not be the best gauge of violent crime, or a city's safety. Here's a look at two theories from criminologists that question the way the numbers are used. Plus, join a discussion with Carl Bialik.
Thu, 11 Jan 2007 21:04:00 ESTLater this year, car shoppers will see a drop in the fuel-economy estimates posted on new cars. The EPA is recalculating the numbers in an effort to better capture real-world conditions -- an update critics say is long overdue. Plus, join a discussion with Carl Bialik.
Fri, 05 Jan 2007 10:36:00 ESTThe Internet and all its high-tech tracking tools should make it easier to count Web searchers, video viewers and videogame players. But different methodologies and a lack of data transparency can lead to some dubious stats. Plus, join a discussion with Carl Bialik.
Thu, 21 Dec 2006 15:11:00 ESTA research report suggesting a steep drop in sales at Apple's iTunes store rattled investors. It also prompted reports that painted a rosy picture of iTunes. The uncertainty shows what happens when different people measure different numbers, using widely varying methods. Plus, join a discussion with Carl Bialik.
Thu, 21 Dec 2006 09:03:00 ESTWas the Internet video of the teenage boy pretending to wield a "Star Wars" lightsaber really viewed 900 million times? A closer look at a marketing firm's ranking of the most-watched Web clips finds more science fiction than math. Plus, join a discussion with Carl Bialik.
Wed, 06 Dec 2006 16:52:00 ESTPfizer abandoned a potentially blockbuster cholesterol drug after some patients died during clinical trials. The number of deaths wasn't much bigger than the number of people in a control group who also died. But a closer look shows how small differences can have big impacts in medical trials. Plus, join a discussion.
Fri, 01 Dec 2006 00:02:00 ESTA number of media reports and public-awareness campaigns have reported that one in 166 U.S. children has autism. But the number doesn't tell the whole story. Plus, join a discussion.
Sun, 19 Nov 2006 21:34:00 ESTPollsters earned overall high marks in last week's elections, accurately predicting the broad Democrat victory. Some did better than others, and firms haven't hesitated to trumpet their results. Carl Bialik looks at the difficulties in evaluating polls, and crunches his own report card. Plus, join a discussion.
Wed, 08 Nov 2006 22:06:00 ESTMcDonald's has upped the stakes in its heavily promoted Monopoly contest by increasing the grand prize to $5 million, but players are more likely to win the multistate Powerball lottery than collect the four winning game pieces.