Statistics on the Table: The History of Statistical Concepts and Methods / Edition 1

Statistics on the Table: The History of Statistical Concepts and Methods / Edition 1

by Stephen M. Stigler
     
 

ISBN-10: 0674009797

ISBN-13: 9780674009790

Pub. Date: 09/28/2002

Publisher: Harvard


This lively collection of essays examines in witty detail the history of some of the concepts involved in bringing statistical argument "to the table," and some of the pitfalls that have been encountered. The topics range from seventeenth-century medicine and the circulation of blood, to the cause of the Great Depression and the effect of the California gold…  See more details below

Overview


This lively collection of essays examines in witty detail the history of some of the concepts involved in bringing statistical argument "to the table," and some of the pitfalls that have been encountered. The topics range from seventeenth-century medicine and the circulation of blood, to the cause of the Great Depression and the effect of the California gold discoveries of 1848 upon price levels, to the determinations of the shape of the Earth and the speed of light, to the meter of Virgil's poetry and the prediction of the Second Coming of Christ. The title essay tells how the statistician Karl Pearson came to issue the challenge to put "statistics on the table" to the economists Marshall, Keynes, and Pigou in 1911. The 1911 dispute involved the effect of parental alcoholism upon children, but the challenge is general and timeless: important arguments require evidence, and quantitative evidence requires statistical evaluation. Some essays examine deep and subtle statistical ideas such as the aggregation and regression paradoxes; others tell of the origin of the Average Man and the evaluation of fingerprints as a forerunner of the use of DNA in forensic science. Several of the essays are entirely nontechnical; all examine statistical ideas with an ironic eye for their essence and what their history can tell us about current disputes.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674009790
Publisher:
Harvard
Publication date:
09/28/2002
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
504
Sales rank:
1,115,337
Product dimensions:
5.87(w) x 8.93(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements

Introduction

1. Statistics and Social Science

Karl Pearson and the Cambridge Economists

The Average Man is 167 Years Old

Jevons as Statistician

Jevons on the King-Davenant Law of Demand

Francis Ysidro Edgeworth, Statistician

2. Galtonian Ideas

Galton and Identification by Fingerprints

Stochastic Simulation in the Nineteenth Century

The History of Statistics in 1933

Regression toward the Mean

Statistical Concepts in Psychology

3. Some Seventeenth-Century Explorers

Apollo Mathematicus

The Dark Ages of Probability

John Craig and the Probability of History

4. Questions of Discovery

Stigler's Law of Eponymy

Who Discovered Bayee's Theorem?

Daniel Bernoulli, Leonhard Euler, and Maximum Likelihood

Gauss and the Invention of Least Squares

Cauchy and the Witch of Agnesi

Karl Pearson and Degrees of Freedom

5. Questions of Standards

Statistics and Standards

The Trial of the Pyx

Normative terminology
with W. H. Kruskal

References

Credits

Index

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