Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Summer 8-27-2019

Keywords

participatory planning, statistics, t-test

Disciplines

Statistics and Probability

Abstract

Thinking about a simple teaching example on the t-test for comparing the average (mean) for some measurement in a group versus the average in another led me to articulate a sequence of thoughts and questions about the foundations of statistical analysis. In particular, my inquiry explores contrasts between: the statistical emphasis on averages or types around which there is variation or noise; variation as a mixture of types; the dynamics (or heterogeneous mix of dynamics) that generated the data analyzed; and participatory restructuring of these dynamics in the future. Two key issues are: Who is assumed to be able to take action—who are the "agents"—and who are the subjects that follow directions given by others? What can it mean to explain differences among averages? Questions are noted to be addressed in a future supplement.

Comments

Touched up version of incomplete July 2010 working paper

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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