Statistical Inference and the Plethora of Probability Paradigms: A Principled Pluralism


The major competing statistical paradigms share a common remarkable but unremarked thread: in many of their inferential applications, different probability interpretations are combined. How this plays out in different theories of inference depends on the type of question asked. We distinguish four question types: confirmation, evidence, decision, and prediction. We show that Bayesian confirmation theory mixes what are intuitively “subjective” and “objective” interpretations of probability, whereas the likelihood-based account of evidence melds three conceptions of what constitutes an “objective” probability.

Author Profiles

Mark L. Taper
Montana State University-Bozeman


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