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JMP Start Statistics, 6th Edition by Sheila Loring, Ann Lehman, Mia L. Stephens, John Sall

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10 Fitting Curves through Points: Regression

Overview

Regression is a method of fitting curves through data points. It is a straightforward and useful technique, but people new to statistics often ask about its rather strange name—regression.

Sir Francis Galton, in his 1885 Presidential address before the anthropology section of the British Association for the Advancement of Science (Stigler, 1986), described his study of how tall children are compared with the height of their parents. In this study, Galton defined ranges of parents’ heights, and then calculated the mean child height for each range. He drew a straight line that went through the means (as best as he could). He thought he had made a discovery when he found that the child heights ...

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