Fill in the blanks:

In prediction markets, no individual opinions are excluded. Everyone can give an opinion. Also, since the group's decision is arrived at ________ , no one is forced to change their opinion.

  1. statistics ||| 2. statistic ||| 3.statistically ||| 4. statistical ||| 5.statistician

(Question from Inside Reading 4)

The answer of the book is "3. statistically". But I think it sounds odd. My instructor somehow justified the answer but he also said that maybe something is missing here. If it is the correct answer, I want to know why and if it is not, then what is the correct answer? (I think maybe "1. statistics" is the correct answer)

  • It doesn't sound odd. Also, it should be "group's decision". – shin Jan 15 '19 at 9:01
  • @shin Can you explain what it means? My instructor said maybe, it needs a pause between at and statistically. what about statistics? – amir na Jan 15 '19 at 9:12

Of the options given, the answer can only be statistically because the way the sentence is constructed needs an adverb to describe the manner in which the group's decision was reached. None of the other words based on the root word statistic fit the sentence.

the group's decision is arrived at statistically.

Whether or not it makes sense is another matter. I think a better adverb in this instance would be democratically. This is because the sentence seems to imply that everybody in the group puts forward an opinion, and this forms the decision that is reached. This sounds to me like the democratic process, where everybody's "vote" counts and the majority is respected. To say that something was done statistically means it was based on statistics, but this normally refers to data taken from a group as a sample to represent something larger. When a group makes a decision they are acting as a whole, not really as a sample or test group.

If you wanted to use the word "statistics" as you suggest, it could be phrased:

the group's decision is based on statistics.

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