statistical inference at work: Statistical

process control as an example

arthur
bakker

Freudenthal Institute,

a.bakker@fi.uu.nl

Phillip
kent

p.kent@ioe.ac.uk

jan Derry

j.derry@ioe.ac.uk

richard
noss

r.noss@ioe.ac.uk

Celia
hoyles

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

**__________________________**

*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:

Freudenthal Institute

3506 GK

The