Statistical Learning Records, Fall 2005

A Justice Site

Statistics: Watts, K J Rose???:
Learning Records, Fall 2005

California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created: January 11, 2006
Latest Update: January 11, 2006

jeannecurran@habermas.org
takata@uwp.edu

Statistical Learning Records, Fall 2005
Watts, K J Rose???:

LEARNING RECORDS

Rose Watts wrote on Mon Sep 5, 2005 8:27 pm in Message No. 5748:

What did the doctor mean when he stated "by chance it is likely to regress whether they are treated or not"? I strongly feel that no matter if the patient is treated with cement or a balloon or might just deal with the pain on his or her own, the regression is uncertain. The pain might be greater after the verteboplasty. The throbbing pain can become less if the back is left alone. No one really knows; not the doctor, and not the person suffering. The patient must leave it up to chance. Hope for the best!

jeanne responded on Mon Sep 5, 2005, in Message No. 5752:

It would be a real good idea to give me a name. I'm guessing here from your Yahoo ID.

I strongly feel that no matter if - Since this is statistics, we won't use terms like "I feel" in the interpretation. Just substitute "whether" and the sentence will flow.

the regression is uncertain - This is why we don't let you go off on your own with interpretations. And I didn't give you an interpretation to work from, so thank you for trying anyway, but the wording you used doesn't make mathematical sense. The "regression to the mean" is certain. It's a statement of mathematical fact that our measurements will vary around the average of all the measurements we take. What you want to say is "the effectiveness of the cure is uncertain." There were too many variables that we could not control: the measurement of the degree of pain, the face validity of the measure used, the patient's beliefs about the effectiveness of the cement treatment, the patient's belief in the doctor's efficacy and knowledge, the patient's belief in the value and appeal to spiritual cures concurrent with the cement treatment, other attempted cures for the pain, and so on. You basically said this on your own. It's just that the wording has to make mathematical sense. An A for a brave and good attempt. Just notice the changes. jeanne