T C 310 • Modes of Reasoning
12:00 PM-2:00 PM
Statistics are numbers that summarize social and other phenomena. They enable the user to draw inferences about the behavior that generated them and to use those inferences to predict and make judgments about that behavior. Statistical reasoning is ubiquitous in our legal system, in our analysis of biomedical issues, in our understanding of economic activity, and in analyzing the political process (to name just a few areas ). In this course I stress the ability to understand statistical concepts, to present statistical results in a useful fashion and to reason statistically. Basic concepts of probability are an essential underpinning to this ability. Their study is followed by the analysis of pairwise relations -- the study of the extent to which two measures can be inferred to be occurring together. Sampling theory -- how to construct unbiased samples and what to infer from them -- follows, and the course then turns to examining tests of significance. Discrimination provides a final range of examples on which to apply the concepts already studied.
David Freedman, Robert Pisani and Roger Purves, Statistics, 4th edition, Norton, 2007. Miscellaneous clippings and articles on reserve.