Model building is critical if statistical techniques are to be appropriately used. However, many people look at regression models as something like “torturing the data until we get the results we want.” Modern computers have facilitated this approach as it’s much easier to “get an answer” even when the analyst understands little about the results obtained. In order to appropriately test a hypothesized model, the model must have been developed based on theoretical concepts of the discipline that is being studied. Thus statistical models are best developed based on testing an informed theoretical model with appropriately collected data.
Do you agree that a knowledge of theory is important for the researcher who tests statistical models?
Please share an example from work or life where an inappropriate use of theory led to misunderstanding circumstances
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