13 Pages Posted: 10 Mar 2006
Date Written: May 16, 2007
Virtually all business and economics statistics texts incorporate some more-or-less detailed discussion of the similarities between conducting hypothesis tests and criminal trials. Apparently, the authors of these texts believe that students will be better able to understand the relevance and usefulness of hypothesis test procedures by introducing them via the dramatic analogy of the criminal justice system. In this paper, we show that the criminal trial analogy commonly used by business and economics statistics textbook authors to motivate, illustrate and/or demonstrate hypothesis test procedures represents bad statistics and bad pedagogy. We then show how the criminal trial setting can be used correctly to illustrate some important statistical concepts.
Keywords: hypothesis tests, criminal trials, Neyman-Pearson hypothesis test procedures
JEL Classification: A22, C12, K14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Liu, Tung and Stone, Courtenay C., Law and Statistical Disorder: Statistical Hypothesis Test Procedures and the Criminal Trial Analogy (May 16, 2007). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=887964 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.887964