statistical inference at work: Statistical

process control as an example

 

arthur bakker

Freudenthal Institute, Utrecht University & Institute of Education, University of London

a.bakker@fi.uu.nl

 

Phillip kent

Institute of Education, University of London

p.kent@ioe.ac.uk

 

jan Derry

Institute of Education, University of London

j.derry@ioe.ac.uk

 

richard noss

Institute of Education, University of London

r.noss@ioe.ac.uk

 

Celia hoyles

Institute of Education, University of London

c.hoyles@ioe.ac.uk

 

ABSTRACT

 

To characterise statistical inference in the workplace this paper compares a prototypical type of statistical inference at work, statistical process control (SPC), with a type of statistical inference that is better known in educational settings, hypothesis testing. Although there are some similarities between the reasoning structure involved in hypothesis testing and SPC that point to key characteristics of statistical inference in general, there are also crucial differences. These come to the fore when we characterise statistical inference within what we call a “space of reasons” – a conglomerate of reasons and implications, evidence and conclusions, causes and effects.

 

Keywords: Statistics education research; Context; Evidence; Hypothesis testing; Space of reasons

 

 

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Statistics Education Research Journal, 7(1), 130-145, http://www.stat.auckland.ac.nz/serj

Ó International Association for Statistical Education (IASE/ISI), May, 2008

 

 

 

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Arthur Bakker

University of London

London Knowledge Lab

23-29 Emerald Street

London WC1N 3QS

United Kingdom

 

Currently working at:

Utrecht University

Freudenthal Institute

PO Box 9432

3506 GK Utrecht

The Netherlands