Illusions in Regression Analysis

10 Pages Posted: 12 Dec 2011

See all articles by J. Scott Armstrong

J. Scott Armstrong

University of Pennsylvania - Marketing Department

Date Written: December 8, 2011


Soyer and Hogarth’s article, 'The Illusion of Predictability,' shows that diagnostic statistics that are commonly provided with regression analysis lead to confusion, reduced accuracy, and overconfidence. Even highly competent researchers are subject to these problems. This overview examines the Soyer-Hogarth findings in light of prior research on illusions associated with regression analysis. It also summarizes solutions that have been proposed over the past century. These solutions would enhance the value of regression analysis.

Keywords: a priori analysis, decision-making, ex ante testing, forecasting, non-experimental data, statistical significance, uncertainty

Suggested Citation

Armstrong, J. Scott, Illusions in Regression Analysis (December 8, 2011). Available at SSRN: or

J. Scott Armstrong (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania - Marketing Department ( email )

700 Jon M. Huntsman Hall
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Philadelphia, PA 19104-6340
United States
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