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Statistics and the Theory of Measurement

D. J. Hand
Journal of the Royal Statistical Society. Series A (Statistics in Society)
Vol. 159, No. 3 (1996), pp. 445-492
Published by: Wiley for the Royal Statistical Society
DOI: 10.2307/2983326
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2983326
Page Count: 48
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Statistics and the Theory of Measurement
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Abstract

Just as there are different interpretations of probability, leading to different kinds of inferential statements and different conclusions about statistical models and questions, so there are different theories of measurement, which in turn may lead to different kinds of statistical model and possibly different conclusions. This has led to much confusion and a long running debate about when different classes of statistical methods may legitimately be applied. This paper outlines the major theories of measurement and their relationships and describes the different kinds of models and hypotheses which may be formulated within each theory. One general conclusion is that the domains of applicability of the two major theories are typically different, and it is this which helps apparent contradictions to be avoided in most practical applications.

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