University of Sheffield

Tony O'Hagan - Academic pages - Abstracts


The Role of Expert Opinion and Judgement in Statistical Inference and Evidence-Based Decision-Making

Naomi C. Brownstein, Thomas A. Louis, Anthony O'Hagan, and Jane Pendergast.

Florida State University, U.S.A.; Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, U.S.A.; University of Sheffield, U.K.; Duke University, U.S.A..

Publication details: Submitted to The American Statistician, 2018.


This article resulted from our participation in the session on the "role of expert opinion and judgement in statistical inference" at the October, 2017 ASA Symposium on Statistical Inference. Here, we present a strong, unified statement on roles of expert judgement and opinion in statistics, along with processes for obtaining input. Topics include the role of subjectivity in the cycle of scienti c inference and decisions, followed by a clinical trial and a greenhouse gas emissions case study that illustrate the roles of opinions and the importance of basing them on objective information and a comprehensive uncertainty assessment. We close with a call for increased proactivity and involvement of statisticians in study conceptualization, design, conduct, analysis and communication.

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Updated: 15 March 2018
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