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Unformatted text preview: Statistical Assessments as Evidence Author(s): Stephen E. Fienberg and Miron L. Straf Source: Journal of the Royal Statistical Society. Series A (General), Vol. 145, No. 4 (1982), pp. 410-421 Published by: Blackwell Publishing for the Royal Statistical Society Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2982094 . Accessed: 07/09/2011 22:54 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact [email protected] Blackwell Publishing and Royal Statistical Society are collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Journal of the Royal Statistical Society. Series A (General). http://www.jstor.org J. R. Statist.Soc. A (1982), 145,Part4, pp. 410-421 StatisticalAssessments as Evidence By STEPHEN E. FIENBERG and MIRON L. STRAF Departments ofStatisticsand Social Science, Committee on NationalStatistics, Carnegie-MellonUniversity, NationalAcademyofSciences, Pittsburgh, PA 15213,USA Washington, DC 20418, USA [Read beforethe ROYAL STATISTICAL SOCIETY on Wednesday,May 19th,1982,thePresidentProfessorD. R. Cox in theChair] SUMMARY Bya statistical assessmentwemeanan interpretation ofstatistics orother information thatisa reasoned judgement informed byknowledge ofandexperience instatistics, as similarly a legalopinionis a reasoned judgement informed by knowledgeof and experience in law. In thispaper,we examinethevariedand changingrolesofthe statistician as expert legalwitness andtheuseofthisexpertestimony as evidence in UnitedStatescourts.We beginwitha briefcomparison of Englishand American common lawandprocedures forciviljustice.Thenwedescribe thedistinctive trendof increasing involvement ofstatisticians and otherscientists as presentors ofstatistical assessments as evidence.After attempting toplacethestatistician inanappropriate legal context,weillustrate thechallenge thatstatistical evidence presents tothelegalsystem in thecontext oftworecent legalcases.Thefirst ofthese, argued ina FederalDistrict Court, involvedallegedillegalemployment discrimination. The second,arguedbeforethe FederalTradeCommission, involved a chargeof"unfair anddeceptive" statements in advertisements forthesaleofmicrowave ovens. Keywords: EXPERT WITNESS; LAW; REGRESSION ANALYSES; REPRESENTATIVE SAMPLES; SAMPLE SURVEYS 1. INTRODUCTION 1.1. StatisticalAssessments MOST statisticalassessmentsas evidenceare of threetypes.The firsttypepertainsto the presentation,analysisor interpretation of statisticson social, demographicor economic characteristics ofa population.Anothertypeincludesinferences, in particularofcause and effect,fromanalyses of special sample surveysor censuses,controlledexperimentsor...
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This note was uploaded on 09/11/2011 for the course ECON 3006 taught by Professor Keeler during the Spring '11 term at California State University , Monterey Bay.
- Spring '11