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The Pope and Market Research Surveys

by Frank Strong

The Pope and Market Research Surveys

One of my favorite quotes come from Mark Twain, who wrote classic grade-school-fiction-books like Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. The humorist and author is attributed as saying:

“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

This reminded me of little story that always gives me something to think about when developing market research surveys:

Two priests want to know if they can smoke and pray at the same time.

One priests asks the Pope, “When I’m praying, is it okay to smoke?”

The Pope replies, “No, when you are praying that is all you should be focused on.”

The other priest poses his question to the Pope in a slightly different construct and asks, “When I am smoking, is it okay for me to pray?”

The Pope replies, “Yes, it is always appropriate to pray anytime.”

Pardon me for saying it, but damn those statistics!

Photo from a 2008 trip to Rome.

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