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Activity Number: 476 - Teaching Introductory Statistics
Type: Contributed
Date/Time: Wednesday, August 2, 2017 : 8:30 AM to 10:20 AM
Sponsor: Section on Statistical Education
Abstract #323698 View Presentation
Title: Using Election Polls to Teach the Analysis of Trends
Author(s): T. Ceesay*
Companies: Merck & Co, Inc.
Keywords: teaching ; election polls ; trends

Predicting the outcome of presidential elections can be a daunting task in the current environment where the constant infusion of social media, news and economic environment can influence the opinion of the electorate rendering modeling their decisions almost like a random walk. It may be difficult to teach undergraduates the statistical concepts used to analyze trends and predict results. However, tracking and attempting to predict the outcome of elections affords us the opportunity to teach the important concepts of margin of error, confidence intervals and sampling as well as taking into consideration the events and influences of the rapidly changing political environment. Evaluating presidential election polls is an ideal medium to accomplish this task especially if it is used during an election year because the students can see the applications in real time and can help students understand why the application of statistical thinking is critical to the understanding of real world events. Using statistical concepts to help students critically analyze polls such as margin of error, confidence intervals and sampling as well as the challenges of prediction will be discussed.

Authors who are presenting talks have a * after their name.

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