How to assign probabilities if you must

Albers, C.J. and Schaafsma, W. (2001). How to assign probabilities if you must. Statistica Neerlandica, 55(3) pp. 346–357.



Empirical evidence can sometimes be incorporated in a probabilistic analysis by conditioning with respect to the observations. Usually, the underlying probability distribution and also the conditional distribution are not completely known. The assignment of probabilities will then require a compromise. The making of such a compromise goes beyond mathematical theory: a statistical discussion is needed. It depends on the context whether the result of such discussion is almost compelling, reasonable, or not really agreeable. This is illustrated by means of a simple example from the area of predictive distributional inference.

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