Informal Statistical Inference

What we are trying to do in our Stat Lit class is to develop good intuitions about data, rather than create mini-statisticians. Our belief is that everyone, in almost any job or civic task, has to make inferences from data without having access to complex data crunching tools or methods, and, as such, it is this “skimming data” approach that is most useful for students to acquire.

This paper introduces me to the useful term Informal Statistical Inference. The informal part is obvious enough — the statistical inference piece requires:

  1. A statement of generalization “beyond the data”
  2. Use of data as evidence to support this generalization
  3. Probabilistic language that expresses a level of uncertainty around the generalization

That’s narrower than Statistical Literacy, but still provides a nice skeleton for some meaningful Stat Lit outcomes. Worth passing on, I thought….

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