Correlation/Regression

  • by Andrew Porter

     

    If something varies normally between two far extremes,
    It usually swings back naturally to values in between.
    From sport to crime and illnesses, we see this common theme,
    An effect we call, statistically, 'regression to the mean'.

    When Brucie plays his cards right and he's holding up a queen,
    You know that next a lower card is likely to be seen,
    Because there are so many cards much lower than a queen.
    It's simple probability, it's 'regression to the mean'.

    Random fluctuations of performances in sports,
    Befuddle sports professionals, who use gimmicks of all sorts,
    Crystals, magnets, copper bracelets they esteem,
    But improvements in achievement are 'regression to the mean'.

    A man with awful backache, that sometimes gets much worse,
    May turn to herbal remedies and swear his pain's reversed.
    Perhaps it has, but not because the herbalist intervened,
    The pain will ease quite simply through 'regression to the mean'.

    Evidence-based treatments that doctors should assign,
    Use tests that will be randomized, controlled and double-blind,
    Stopping self-deception before those test-results are seen,
    It stops them being fooled by 'regression to the mean'.

    Big international drug firms are rightly criticised,
    For concealing contrary evidence and other sorts of lies,
    So how come homeopathy and herbalists have been,
    Permitted to bamboozle us with ‘regression to the mean'’?

    While scientific medicine cannot cure all ills,
    It does do so much better than those homeopathic sugar pills,
    That a child should die through want of proper treatment is obscene,
    When wishful-thinking parents fall for ‘regression to the mean'’.

    When much that was untreatable is curable, it’s tragic
    That patients turn from medicine to phony cure-all magic.
    The alternative to thinking is delusionary dreams,
    Alas, from death there will be no ‘regression to the mean'’.

  • By Elizabeth Stasny

    Fitting a straight line?
    Be sure to check assumptions,
    Plot residuals.

    Your plot shows a curve?
    Try a polynomial:
    x² or x³

    Partitioning the
    SSE or SSR - -
    Partial Sums of Squares.

  • How did the statistician study the new device for measuring the weight of trees?

    He used the log scale.

    Bruce White

  • How do car manufacturers study trends in sales?

    They use autocorrelation.

    Bruce White

  • Cancer has been linked to nitrites in processed red meats like sausages. And sausages have been found linked to....other sausages.
  • Professor: Investigate whether logistic regression is the best model for your analysis.

    Student: Okay - I'll  probit.

    Larry Lesser

  • Q. Who publishes books on real estate experiments for statisticians?
    A. Random House.

    Q. Who publishes the correlation and regression books that statisticians are always talking about?
    A. Pearson

    Larry Lesser

  • Correlation doesn't imply causation, but it does waggle its eyebrows suggestively and gesture furtively while mouthing "look over there"

    Randall P. Munroe (1984 - )

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