Problem Library

The Disgruntled Baseball Fan

Length: 3-6 hours

Discipline: Psychology

Level: Introductory (majors)

Author: Karpiak, Christie

This problem provides an engaging introduction to descriptive statistics for students in the social and behavioral sciences, many of whom are required to take a statistics course for their majors and initially question its relevance. Working in small groups, students locate and analyze information about baseball players’ salaries in order to assist a disgruntled fan in composing a compelling and statistically accurate letter to the baseball commissioner. They discover differences between the mean and median in stability and accuracy for representing data when they are not normally distributed and use this knowledge to propose changes in the salary structure that would change the distributions.

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