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Bias in Stats Packages ?

Brian Smith-White smithwhi at students.msu.edu
Fri Mar 11 18:39:00 EST 1994

In Article <CMHnG9.Cp5 at cix.compulink.co.uk> "warrenk at cix.compulink.co.uk ("Warren Kovach")" says:
> > > Systat's 1500.565.  The resulting f-ratio was 364.1975 vs 364.300.  I 
> > > think I would tend to believe Systat's results more :-)
> > > 
> > > Dr. Warren L. Kovach         Internet: warrenk at cix.compulink.co.uk
> > > 
> > Good point, but why?  Do they both give the method of calculation, and
> > which method do you consider more accurate?  I always have this same
> > concern
> > with letting a computer do my dirty work, but prefer to base my bias on
> > knowledge of the methods used rather than familiarity with the program.
> > If you can share information about the method of calculation and your 
> > reason for preference, that would be appreciated.  Thanks.
> > .
> > Leonard N. Bloksberg
> > bloksber at pilot.msu.edu
> The Systat manual states that the sums of squares are calculated in 
> double precision using Spicer's one-pass provisional algorithm.  The 
> Excel manuel says exactly nothing about the methods of calculation.  Like 
> you, I prefer the known to the unknown.
> --
> Dr. Warren L. Kovach              Internet: warrenk at cix.compulink.co.uk
> Kovach Computing Services                       CompuServe: 100016,2265
> 85 Nant-y-Felin                                tel./fax: +44-248-450414
> Pentraeth, Anglesey, Wales LL75 8UY U.K.   
Simple examination of the display copy of the manual, prior to purchase of 
the package, would have shown Excel to not have any information concerning
the algorithms utilized in any of the "statistics" included with the
software. In light of this simple fact, one has to wonder why the package was
purchased since a user would be required to believe the results in the 
absence of any information other than the allegations of Microsoft. 

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