It’s been a bad couple of weeks for PR masquerading as statistical analysis. Maybe we’ve turned a corner yesterday with Kat Lay’s article in the Times yesterday about some rubbish from Littlewoods and perfect mothers. She wrote:

“Children want a mother who can bake them cakes, read them bedtime stories – and help them win £1 million on primetime TV, if the results of a new survey are to be believed. “

This idea that results of a survey might not be gospel is a bit of a breakthrough,  (I mean PR stunt surveys, not professional market research of course).  Later the article says:

“Researchers for concluded that the perfect mother would be 32 per cent McCall, 25 per cent Rowling, 25 per cent Berry, 13 per cent Klass, 3 per cent Beyoncé and 2 per cent Bussell.”

I guess that the analytical technique here is the little known ‘Add up all the responses and percentage them’ method.A