1
$\begingroup$

Is it ok or mistake to use this words as synonyms? (E.g. to write "we evaluate variance of the estimator by theorem 1" when I mean that we estimate this variance)?

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ why would you use one term when you actually mean another? $\endgroup$ – Aksakal Jul 24 '18 at 19:51
  • $\begingroup$ Because my supervisor claims that "evaluate" sounds more clearly and understandable and is stylistically better. The supervisor is a brilliant geographer but knows nothing on statistics and I am publishing a paper on statistical methods that should be exact and understandable by both statisticians and geographers:-( $\endgroup$ – Galtulling Jul 24 '18 at 20:14
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ "Evaluate the formula for variance" is fine, "evaluate variance" doesn't sound right $\endgroup$ – Aksakal Jul 24 '18 at 20:51
0
$\begingroup$

I always thought "evaluate" was used to describe analytical formula results, and "estimate" was used to describe simulation or approximation results.

If you mistakenly use one over the other, people will generally understand what you mean if you are commenting on an online forum or discussing in person. If you are publishing a paper, the distinction will be more important, as papers are often peer-reviewed and academics can be picky. In your case, where you are determining the variance from a sample (not an analytical probability distribution), you would likely use "estimate" since you are not 100% sure of the distribution of the underlying variable, and you are therefore providing an estimate of the true variance based on the sample data you collected.

In conversation, the two are generally interchangeable, in my experience.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you very much! So I will use "estimate" in the paper! $\endgroup$ – Galtulling Jul 24 '18 at 20:15

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.