We often have questions on English Language and Usage about statistics, and many of the answers are "cherry-picking".

I have worked in a few call-centers where the issue came up, but we always discussed this in English.

Is there an accepted term in Spanish to describe the issue?

En Español, ¿cómo explicar la práctica de seleccionar solamente los datos preferidos para respaldar su opinión?

La expresión se refiere a la cosecha de cereza donde solamente las mejores de las cerezas son selecionadas.

  • 2
    Many of us may not know what "cherry-picking" is in statistics, would you mind to add an explanation of what the English term means?
    – Charlie
    Dec 30 '20 at 18:16
  • @Charlie Done...
    – Cascabel
    Dec 30 '20 at 18:31

Cherry-picking is a type of informal fallacy (that is, an argument that is fallacious not because of faulty logic but due to misleading reasoning). It does ot necessarily have to involve statistics. It is just a general issue that arises when purposefully selected pieces of data are presented as evidence of a claim (regardless of whether those data are part of a statistical sample).

This fallacy has a couple of more technical names in English, and literal or approximate translations of those can be found in Spanish:

  • Fallacy of Incomplete Evidence = Falacia de evidencia incompleta (this is from Spanish Wikipedia)
  • Fallacy of Suppressed Evidence = Falacia de supresión de pruebas

Es.Wikipedia also says this is a subtype of falacia de atención selectiva (fallacy of selective attention). If this happens in statistics, it may be a form of sampling bias (sesgo muestral).

This is case where, provided everybody in the conversation know what it is about, using the raw English term might be better than trying to translate. In informal conversation I would rather express what I'm trying to say using a short phrase, like for example “eso es elegir lo que te conviene y hacer como si no existiera el resto.

  • 2
    Well, yeah. When I was working here in Central America we used the loan word. Isn't there a a term in Spanish that means the same?
    – Cascabel
    Dec 30 '20 at 20:37

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