As every statistician knows, many people hate our field. How many times have we all heard “You do statistics? I HATED that class in college!” (I remember one of my college professors complaining indignantly that no one would presume to tell an artist that he hated art.) There are all sorts of factors that probably contribute to the unpopularity of statistics: it’s often one of the few quantitative courses required for social science majors, who may be less into mathy subjects to begin with; it’s not always well-taught (although what subject is?); the logic of hypothesis testing isn’t terribly intuitive. Lately I’ve been wondering if statistics’ bad reputation is confined to the US or if it’s more universal. My own experiences really don’t help to answer that question: Sure, most of the “I hate statistics” comments I hear come from Americans, but that’s not surprising given that I live in the US. And many of the international people I know are work-related, so of course they tend not to hate statistics. Anyway, my wondering about this is self-serving. Starting in January I’ll be teaching intro statistics at Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, and I’ve been wondering what the students will be like. I’m hoping not to hear “me disgusta estadística” too much….
Como se dice “I hate statistics”?