Transposed conditionals, shrinkage, and direct and indirect unbiasedness

Stephen Senn*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

11 Citations (Scopus)


Unbiasedness as conventionally understood is not a necessary property of good inferences. Such unbiasedness is "direct" - it guarantees that, on average, an estimate equals the thing it is estimating (the parameter). Strange as it may seem, this does not mean that the parameter is on average equal to its estimate. This would require the very different property of inverse unbiasedness. When this phenomenon is understood, shrinkage of results can be seen to be a necessary fact of life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)652-654
Number of pages3
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2008
Externally publishedYes

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