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Using a Sample Survey Project to Compare Classical and Bayesian Approaches for Teaching
 

Summary: Using a Sample Survey Project to Compare
Classical and Bayesian Approaches for Teaching
Statistical Inference
Jim Albert 1
Bowling Green State University
April 1998
1 Address for correspondence: Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Bowling Green State
University, Bowling Green, OH 43403, USA.

Abstract
This article discusses the teaching of statistical inference in a first statistics class. The
traditional and Bayesian approaches are outlined as two approaches for introducing basic
tenets of inference, and these methods are contrasted in teaching the construction and inter­
pretation of an interval estimate for a proportion. A sample survey project is described as
a means of assessing the effectiveness of these two approaches in communicating inference.
There are several advantages of the Bayes viewpoint in performing this survey project, in­
cluding the explicit modeling of one's prior opinion by means of a probability distribution,
and the relative ease in reporting statistical conclusions. The results of the projects used in
both traditional and Bayesian classes are described, with a focus on the students' interpre­
tation of their confidence intervals. Although students in the Bayes class had more success

  

Source: Albert, James H. - Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Bowling Green State University

 

Collections: Mathematics