Graphing Considered Dangerous

April 1, 2009
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In my posting of Jun-25-2007, To Graph Or Not To Graph , I made the case (tentatively) that graphs weren’t all they’re cracked up to be, and provoked some lively discussion in the Comments section here. In his Apr-01-2009 posting, Why tables are really much better than graphs on the Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science Web log, Andrew Gelman makes a much more forceful case against graphs. Readers may find Gelman’s arguments of interest.

I am not “anti-graph”, but do think that graphs are often used when other tools (test statistics, tables, etc.) would have been a better choice, and graphs are certainly frequently misused. Thoughts?


In my posting of Jun-25-2007, To Graph Or Not To Graph , I made the case (tentatively) that graphs weren’t all they’re cracked up to be, and provoked some lively discussion in the Comments section here. In his Apr-01-2009 posting, Why tables are really much better than graphs on the Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science Web log, Andrew Gelman makes a much more forceful case against graphs. Readers may find Gelman’s arguments of interest.

I am not “anti-graph”, but do think that graphs are often used when other tools (test statistics, tables, etc.) would have been a better choice, and graphs are certainly frequently misused. Thoughts?