In his presidential address to the American Statistical Association in 1931, William Fielding Ogburn, an American sociologist important particularly in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s, took as his theme the difference between statistics and art. His argument, articulated here and in a wide range of writings throughout his career, was that “statistics has been developed to give an exact picture of reality, while the picture that the artist draws is a distortion of reality” (Ogburn 1932: 1). He then went on to express his belief that emotion leads to distortion in our observations. “It is this distorting influence of emotion and wishes,” he said, “that is more responsible for bad thinking than any lack of logic” (ibid.: 4). But statistics, he believed, could ameliorate the distorting effects of emotion on our empirical observations. There was a problem, however, because “the artist in us wants understanding rather than statistics. But understanding is hardly knowledge. . . . The tests of knowledge are reliability and accuracy, not understanding” (ibid.: 5).