Use and Misuse of Percentages

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Use and Misuse of Percentages

One of the concepts you encountered in the readings this module was how to recognize the use and misuse of information presented in the form of percentages. In this discussion assignment, you will conduct an Internet search to find several examples of the use of percentages. These can be examples of percentages used in advertising claims, reported results from a study, or information shared by a government agency.

In a minimum of 200 words, post to the Discussion Area your response to the following:

Find an example of two of the following types of usage of percentages.

  • Use of percentages as a fraction. Remember that this type will use the word of to imply multiplication. Explain whether this was an effective way to represent this information within the context of the example you found.
  • Use of percentages to describe change. In the example you find, determine whether the reported percentage demonstrated absolute or relative change. Show your work. Explain whether this was an effective way to represent this information within the context of the example you found.
  • Use of percentages for comparison. In the example you find, determine whether the reported percentage demonstrated absolute or relative change. Show your work. Explain whether this was an effective way to represent this information within the context of the example you found.

Now, find an example of two of the following misuses of percentages.

  • Use of a shifting reference value. In this situation, the base values are changing as differing values of percentages are applied as increases, decreases, or both. Percentage increases, decreases, or both do not have a cumulative effect. Be sure to demonstrate why your example fits this category.
  • Use of percentage to represent less than nothing. Look for an example where you are seeing a reduction of some percentage greater than 100. Be sure to demonstrate why your example fits this category.
  • Situation where the average percentage is reported. In general, you can not average percentages. The result isn’t representative of what actually has occurred in the situation in question. Be sure to demonstrate why your example fits this category.

By Sunday, December 6, 2015, post your response to the appropriate Discussion Area. Through Wednesday, December 9, 2015, review the postings of your peers and respond to at least two of them. Consider commenting on the following:

  • Examine each example that the student provided. Did these examples sufficiently demonstrate the ways that percentages are used and misused? Explain.
  • What have you learned regarding the necessity of carefully examining the percentages reported in advertising, news media, government reports, etc.?
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