Statistical Massage

Statistical Massage

A slang term for the manipulation of data in order to promote one's favored view. For example, one may statistically massage the results of a focus group to indicate that participants favor a new product more strongly than they actually do. If statistical massages are applied to earnings reports or similar documents, it may constitute aggressive accounting.
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Factor-analysis proponents assume that languages build up reservoirs of adjectives related to important personality traits, so these traits should pop into relief when scientists give the welter of words a vigorous statistical massage.
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