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The Zeroth Problem

Colin Mallows
The American Statistician
Vol. 52, No. 1 (Feb., 1998), pp. 1-9
DOI: 10.2307/2685557
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2685557
Page Count: 9
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The Zeroth Problem
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Abstract

In 1922 Fisher decoupled the theory of statistics from its applications. He identified three basic problems, the first of which is choosing the form of the specification or model for the data. But there is a problem that logically precedes this: how do the data relate to the problem, and what other data might be relevant? In my view this is what "statistical thinking" should be concerned with. I describe a modest formalism that may help in the development of a "theory of applied statistics," and discuss how probability enters the picture.

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