Statistical Data in a novel: Does it change the overall point of view of how you understand the story?
The narrator of this book is young and autistic. In this story the narrator is not involved but narrates the story as if from the horse’s mouth. The narrator has his own interpretation of what the protagonist has to say and how he understands every single thing that the character meant.
Point of view can be defined as a third person executing a perception of the character in the story. The narrator includes a famous story to explain his point of view on math’s which the character in this story Mr. Jeavons does not understand.
This young narrator goes on with the story which focuses on mathematics and statistics. Phew! Mathematics and Statistics are the deadliest topics which most of us do not want to continue with. But neither of us realize in today’s world we leave with the help of those two so called dreaded subjects.
We live in a world of information overload and to simplify most of the things we make use of statistics and mathematics. a good book with an interesting story is a powerful way to get your message across. Stories is an eternal part of our day to day lives, and to remember the story we need facts, a better understanding of the topic, context, emotional impact and must include data and figures.
According to me use of lot of words in to convey a thought is least better than putting it in a statistical format. Statistics is often considered to be boring, when it comes to statistics we start visualising loads of data complied into tables, graphs and spreadsheets. Statistics are used to explain quantitative arguments such as How many people are on facebook and how many of them are active. It is very common to support science research based on statistics and it gives certain credibilty to your research. But understanding statistics is very abstract and difficult for most of the audience. Hence, it is observed that a research has both narrative as well as statistical explanation of the data.
When I read this article, my point of view at looking and understanding the article did not change much because it is more simplified with statistical data by the character in this example. For me as an audience things register more faster in a brain which are explained in simple language and has lot of charts, pictures or graphs i.e explicit visual examples. Also i myself can clearly understand what the narrator has to say when he goes on to describe how statistics can come in as handy when explaning simple logic. It is impressive in the way that narrator supports Mr. Jeavons mathematical illetracy by use of such examples and understands what the character means when he makes certain statements. Narrator tries to explain the situation from Marilyn vos Savant point of view, who is registered in Guiness Book of World Records Hall of Fame for having highest IQ in the world.
The article in question discusses about The Mounty Hall Problem;
There is a game show on television where you can win car as a prize. In this game show there are three doors out of which one has car in it and the other two has goats. The player selects one door, while the hosts instead of opening the selected door he shows the player what he have lost by not selecting that door. After he have opened the door which was not selected, the player is given one final chance to change his/her mind. In a magazine Parade in America, Marilyn argues that the chances of getting a car or a goat are 50:50 if you go with your intuition and the player should choose the final door because the chances of getting a car are 2 in 3. Although she explained why her statistical interpretation was right, about 92% scientists in the field of mathematics criticized her for her mathematical illiteracy. She proves by statistical logic that intuition is not always right for such games or chances where you have to choose and make a decision(Haddon, 2004).
I think the explanation of how to consider which door to choose is far more simpler by the use of statistics than explaining it in long sentences or paragraphs.
Haddon, M. (2004). The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (pp 78- 82). London: Red Fox.
Image Credit : rmay (2009, December 15). From my point of view king. Retrieved May 24,2011 from http://www.toonpool.com/cartoons/from%20my%20point%20of%20view%20king_68179