Discussion Board – Misleading Graph

Discussion Board – Misleading Graph

Find and post a link to an example of a misleading or deceptive graph that you found on the internet. Please make sure to include the following in your post:

· A link to the graph

· Two or more ways in which it is misleading

· Two things that could be done to improve the graph

· Describe why you think the graph was made this way originally (trying to “trick” the reader into thinking a certain thing, lack of knowledge about how graphs should be organized, etc)


I chose a graph used by CNN in a report from August 2017 about the state of the economy under President Trump.

https://i2.cdn.turner.com/money/dam/assets/170807124550-trump-median-home-prices-780×439.jpg (Links to an external site.)

First of all, this graph does not start at a baseline of zero, and there is no overt indication of this. Because of the small scale of values used, the difference in median home price between the years appears exaggeratedly large. A more overt indication that the scale does not begin at zero would add clarity.

Secondly, the graph does not follow a consistent pattern of time. The years used (2006, 2009, 2011, 2017) all have different intervals of time between them. The reader is given the impression that housing prices skyrocketed in 2017. In reality, the increase shown took place over 5.5 years, which is the longest time period displayed on the graph. Using a consistent interval of time between bars would give a more accurate impression of the progression of home prices between 2006 and 2017.

I do no think this graph was made to be intentionally deceptive. It seems like someone tried to make an informative graph, and, in some ways, they did. It simply is not a very clearly presented graph, and it gives a misleading impression. I think its problems are the result of a lack of knowledge of how graphs should be organized.


http://www.statisticshowto.com/misleading-graphs/ (Links to an external site.)

The first way i found this graph about Bush tax cuts expiring to be misleading was that the graph starts at 34 however the chart goes way over its correct number. The second thing i found was there was only a 4.6% difference however the second bar seems to dwarf the first. 

This graph can be improved in two ways

1. Start at zero so the graph makes more sense 

2. show the real closeness of the two bars and the actual effect

The main reason i think this graph was made this way was to throw off the viewer of this and lead them to believe that the tax expiring would have a larger impact then the reality of it.  


Find Examples of Psychology Ideas or Subjects in Media (Internet, TV, Movies, Books, Magazines, Newspapers, and other materials

1. Find an example of what you have learned in Chapter 1 in any form of media.

2. In the discussion board, share that example and describe how it demonstrates the psychology that you learned (250 words at least).

3. Use supporting articles and materials as needed.  ALWAYS use references and citations when using such articles and materials.

4. Respond to two other discussion posts in a thoughtful way (100 words minimum)

As you read, watch, listen, and interact with others, you will see examples of the concepts that are covered in each module, all around you.  Discussions must cover a subject or idea from the chapter covered in that class module.  There will be eight discussions throughout the semester. The process is the same for each discussion.  You can submit any item you want as long as it relates to something discussed in the chapter. Each discussion board is worth 25 points.

Example Discussion Scenario

In chapter 2, we study the parts of the brain involved with memory including the hippocampus. 

You may have seen a movie or read an article about memory and thehippocampus, such as the movie Memento, in which an individual suffers from amnesia, a form of memory loss due to a damaged hippocampus.

So for chapter 2 you may want to use the movie Memento as your example. Please describe the relevant parts of the movie in your own words and how it connects to an idea or subject in the covered chapter. 

This is an example discussion for the above situation:

I watched the movie Memento, and it reminded me of what was discussed in chapter 2 regarding memory and the hippocampus.  In the movie, the character has a condition that prohibits new memory formation due to damage to his hippocampus.  Throughout the movie the character struggles to uncover what happened to his wife, and he never knows who to trust.  Since his brain no longer holds onto new information, he must write everything down that happens to him.  I was interested to learn when researchers began to uncover the relationship of the hippocampus and memory, and I discovered an article from 1959 written by Scoville and Milner describing a psychotic person who had brain surgery to control psychotic symptoms, and the surgery damaged the hippocampal region of the brain.  After the surgery the patient had memory problems, and the researchers came to the conclusion that thehippocampus must be involved in memory formation.

There was a lot that I did not understand in the article, but that did not prevent me from connecting the dots between this research and the character in the movie.  I never really understood memory to be a physical thing that was processed in specific areas of the brain and not others.  Memory used to be a complete mystery to me, but now I can understand that it is a biological process that affects our behavior and is affected by it as well.

The poor character in Memento did not have a choice whether to remember or not because his brain was truly incapable of forming the memories due to the damage to the hippocampus.

Scoville, W. B., & Milner, B. (1957). Loss of recent memory after bilateralhippocampal lesions. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, 20(1), 11

You do not need to use scholarly journal articles as in the example above, but you can and it is good practice for courses you will take in the future that require using research articles. High quality sources make writing easier.  If you use an outside source such as an article, book, or website, you should cite it as I have above.  You do not need a separate reference page. Just type the reference below your paragraph.


When I read the textbook, the most impressive part of the Chapter 1 must be the PSYCHOLOGY IN OUR WORLD. In this section, it discussed the global science of happiness which pulled my heartstrings. It stated that “The pursuit of happiness is a fundamental and universal human goal; the gross domestic product of a nation does not adequately reflect the happiness and well-being of its citizens; Nations should develop measures of happiness and well-being and use them to guide their national policies.” According to my point of view, the United Nations General Assembly displayed a kind of value that everyone in the world all enjoy an equal right to pursue happiness. This reminds of a movie I have ever seen, its name is “The pursuit of Happyness”. The main character suffered so much pain, including unemployment, divorce and bankruptcy, but he never lost his confidence to pursue a better life. The most impressive scene to me is when he lost everything, those medical machines, wife and house, the only thing he got is his son. He held his little hands tight and firm, even they only find a shelter in a public toilet. He cried at night when his baby boy slept. What a moving scene. I know that life’s full of ups and downs, but this situation is so hard to turn over for most of people. But when the first sunlight came in, the character always on his way to seek for happiness, for himself and his son. As a businessman, he is smart, as a father, he’s full of tenreness and benign. I bet this is a direct reflection of the resolution. No one can judge people only by appearance or wealth alone, so do the nations.


In the television show Grey’s Anatomy there are numerous examples of psychological ideas and subjects.  One example that especially correlates with chapter one is the concept of a clinical trial.  Specifically, the Alzheimer’s clinical trial from the television series.  The clinical trial is an example of experimental research and also gives incite to ethical guidelines.

The clinical trial had certain criteria that must be met to be considered for the trial.  The criteria allowed for the results to have less of a chance to be skewed.  After the patients meet the criteria, they either are given the Alzheimer’s drug or the placebo.  Though the show doesn’t necessarily accurately depict a clinical trial, it does have some key psychological aspects of experimental research.  Grey’s Anatomy’s trial had both an independent and dependent variable.  The independent variable was the degree of Alzheimer’s, and the dependent variable was the drug and placebo.  Additionally, the show had an experimental group and control group.  The experimental group received the drug and the control group received the placebo. 

The Alzheimer’s clinical trial also gave viewers some information about ethical guidelines.  Before any of the patients underwent surgery, they had to sign a consent form.  The patients were known to the FDA as numbers and they were randomly assigned the placebo or the drug.  The show also debriefed the patients of the purpose of the trial. Most of the ethical guidelines were not followed in the show.  The doctors should have been more detached and should have followed more of an anonymous system.  The doctors also should not have had access to where the placebo and drug were held.  The trial should have also had much less bias. 

Overall, the Alzheimer’s clinical trial example from Grey’s Anatomy gave a sample of chapter one.  The focus on the ideas of experimental research and ethical guidelines demonstrated psychological ideas and subjects.

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