Quotes in statistics

The researcher hoping to break new ground in the theory of experimental design should involve himself in the design of actual experiments. The investigator who hopes to revolutionize decision theory should observe and take part in the making of important decisions.

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For the theory-practice iteration to work, the scientist must be, as it were, mentally ambidextrous; fascinated equally on the one hand by possible meanings, theories, and tentative models to be induced from data and the practical reality of the real world, and on the other with the factual implications deducible from tentative theories, models and hypotheses.

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A man in daily muddy contact with field experiments could not be expected to have much faith in any direct assumption of independently distributed normal errors.

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An operational definition is a procedure agreed upon for translation of a concept into measurement of some kind.


Since all models are wrong the scientist must be alert to what is importantly wrong. It is inappropriate to be concerned about mice when there are tigers abroad.

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Since all models are wrong the scientist cannot obtain a "correct" one by excessive elaboration. On the contrary following William of Occam he should seek an economical description of natural phenomena. Just as the ability to devise simple but evocative models is the signature of the great scientist so overelaboration and overparameterization is often the mark of mediocrity.

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What's the collective noun for a group of statisticians?

"A quarrel"

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All Models Are Wrong But Some Are Useful

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Every process generates information that can be used to improve it.

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Statisticians, like artists, have the bad habit of falling in love with their models.

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