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Picture of ChuckFinley
posted
How difficult could this statement be to understand?

1/2 = 50%.

Half of anything will be below average, because average is 50%. Intelligence, driving skill, etc, anything...

Amazing how many times in response to this statement someone will weigh in with, "Oh, it's at least 80% that are below average".

Sigh




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"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." -- C.S. Lewis
 
Posts: 4487 | Location: District 12 | Registered: June 16, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
This Space for Rent
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When I graduated High School, I was in the top 98% of my class. I'z smart.




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... the B team ...

 
Posts: 3252 | Location: Bathing in the stream of consciousness ~~~ | Registered: July 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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What this thread needs.



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"Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it." — Mark Twain
 
Posts: 1230 | Location: Falls of the Ohio River, Kain-tuk-e | Registered: January 13, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by ChuckFinley:
Amazing how many times in response to this statement someone will weigh in with, "Oh, it's at least 80% that are below average".


That's actually possible, if the upper 20% of the sample are drastically higher than the rest. Take for example a series of five numbers:

1, 2, 3, 4, and 25

The average of these numbers is 7. Yet 80% of the numbers are below that average. This occurs because 25 is drastically higher than the other numbers, which skews the average upward.

Similarly, if 80% of the sample were dumb and 20% of the population were very smart, with few people in-between, then it could be accurate to say that 80% of the people were below average intelligence.


This concept works the other way around, too. Take another series of five numbers:

1, 32, 33, 34, and 35

The average of these numbers is 27. Yet 80% of our sample are above average. The fact that 1 is much smaller than the other numbers skews the average downward.


You're also forgetting about situations in which something may be exactly average, neither above or below it. Here's yet another series of five numbers:

1, 2, 3, 4, and 5

The average is 3. So 40% of the numbers are below average, 20% are average, and 40% are above average. It's not split with 50% below average and 50% above average.

quote:
Originally posted by ChuckFinley:
How difficult could this statement be to understand?


Apparently it's not as easy as it seems. Wink
 
Posts: 19086 | Location: Northwest Arkansas | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Half of all people are below average intelligence.

...which is to say there are a lot of stupid people in this world, some of whom you may be acquainted with.
 
Posts: 2417 | Location: Nashville | Registered: July 23, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Yeah but a lot are educated beyond their intelligence.


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Posts: 2263 | Location: No longer new to Central NY | Registered: March 13, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Now I am going to preface this by saying it's been a loooong time since I had to worry about it, but you can have an "average" or "mean" and still have a majority "below average".

The illustration would go something like this, let's say intelligence is measured on a 1-100 scale and you have a room with four extraordinarily stupid people (1's) and one genius (100). Their average intelligence is 20.8. So, you actually have 80% of the people in the room below average and 20% above.

The median might be more what you are thinking as IIRC it is the mid-point of a set of numbers.

Statisticians feel free to flay me alive. It's been a loooong time.

Edited to add, I see RogueJSK beat me to the concept.


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It appears someone's math skills are below average. Big Grin
 
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I am working on being average in height.




"..AGAINST ALL ENEMIES, FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC,...SO HELP ME GOD."


 
Posts: 20871 | Location: Czechtown,Minnesota | Registered: October 17, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Ammoholic
Picture of Skins2881
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quote:
Originally posted by RogueJSK:
quote:
Originally posted by ChuckFinley:
Amazing how many times in response to this statement someone will weigh in with, "Oh, it's at least 80% that are below average".


That's actually possible, if the upper 20% of the sample are drastically higher than the rest. Take for example a series of five numbers:

1, 2, 3, 4, and 25

The average of these numbers is 7. Yet 80% of the numbers are below that average. This occurs because 25 is drastically higher than the other numbers, which skews the average upward.

Similarly, if 80% of the popular were dumb and 20% of the population were very smart, with few people in-between, then it could be accurate to say that 80% of the people were below average intelligence.


This concept works the other way around, too. Take another series of five numbers:

1, 32, 33, 34, and 35

The average of these numbers is 27. Yet 80% of our sample are above average. The fact that 1 is much smaller than the other numbers skews the average downward.


You seem to be assuming that the entire sample that's being averaged will be evenly distributed. That rarely occurs. As a result, "average" is rarely directly in the middle where it splits your sample evenly.

You're also forgetting about situations in which something may be exactly average, neither above or below it. Here's yet another series of five numbers:

1, 2, 3, 4, and 5

The average is 3. So 40% of the numbers are below average, 20% are average, and 40% are above average. It's not split with 50% below average and 50% above average.

quote:
Originally posted by ChuckFinley:
How difficult could this statement be to understand?


Apparently it's not as easy as it seems. Wink


With a statistically significant sample sample size you should end up with a bell curve. So in his post I assume it to mean all people, not a five person sample size. It is possible to get skewed with a small sample size or a bias/error in selection. But he is saying a sample size of all people. Mean of all people may not fall at 50%, but average will.



Jesse

A couple SIGs and a few others
 
Posts: 9970 | Location: Loudoun County, Virginia | Registered: December 27, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Lost
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The one I like is "Just because everybody is like that doesn't mean it's normal".
 
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Picture of ChuckFinley
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Thank you, Skins.

Yes, always used in the most general sense of the population, not "half the people in this room are of below average intelligence" which would usually be patently untrue.

I understand the point above, mean, median and average, but it is meant as skins says.

Carlin was a gem.




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"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." -- C.S. Lewis
 
Posts: 4487 | Location: District 12 | Registered: June 16, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of V-Tail
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Which "average" are we talking about --
  • Mean,
  • Median, or
  • Mode?



A mind is a terrible thing.
 
Posts: 16180 | Location: Central Florida (near Orlando) | Registered: January 03, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I don't understand the question.




"the meaning of life, is to give life meaning" I could explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.
 
Posts: 36217 | Location: My Happy Little Tire Swing | Registered: December 20, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Intelligence is not a normal distribution. It is a type of chi squared distribution with k somewhere around 3 or 4. Basically, intelligence can't be lower than zero (despite how stupid some folks appear) but there is no theoretical limit to the upper end so it has a single tail. This changes the nature of the cumulative distribution.

Regardless, in a sample large enough (99.9999% significance), the mean and the average will tend to converge and roughly half (population) will be below average/mean/median.

Ken
 
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My Doctor introduced me to this when he said "Half the doctors graduated in the bottom half of their class. I was in the top half."



I'm sorry if I hurt you feelings when I called you stupid - I thought you already knew - Unknown
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Posts: 1060 | Location: Kalispell Montana & South for the Winter | Registered: December 24, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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As a cop, I was constantly amazed by people who outwardly appeared to be smart and successful, but were in fact quite stupid. That, combined with a lack of common sense often resulted in disaster.


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Posts: 5551 | Location: Marquette MI | Registered: July 08, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Lost
Picture of kkina
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quote:
Originally posted by YooperSigs:
As a cop, I was constantly amazed by people who outwardly appeared to be smart and successful, but were in fact quite stupid. That, combined with a lack of common sense often resulted in disaster.

So true. Another thing I've noticed is that everyone thinks they're smart. Smart people think they're smart because they are; stupid people think they're smart because if they knew how stupid they were, they wouldn't be stupid.
 
Posts: 10394 | Location: SF Bay Area | Registered: December 11, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of ChuckFinley
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quote:
Originally posted by kkina:
quote:
Originally posted by YooperSigs:
As a cop, I was constantly amazed by people who outwardly appeared to be smart and successful, but were in fact quite stupid. That, combined with a lack of common sense often resulted in disaster.

So true. Another thing I've noticed is that everyone thinks they're smart. Smart people think they're smart because they are; stupid people think they're smart because if they knew how stupid they were, they wouldn't be stupid.


^And they all think they are fabulous drivers.




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"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." -- C.S. Lewis
 
Posts: 4487 | Location: District 12 | Registered: June 16, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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