# Questions tagged [intuition]

Questions that seek a conceptual or non-mathematical understanding of statistics.

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### Intuitive explanation of conformal prediction

I have recently started learning about conformal prediction. I am a programmer without a strong mathematical background, but with a strong intuitive, applied background in statistics. I am trying to ...
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### What does the quality of representation of a variable mean in PCA?

I understand that the quality of representation of an individual by a certain axis is measured by the cosine of the angle between the axis and the individual; the more the vector representing the ...
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### Intuition behind rank of covariance matrix and testing hypotheses

I am trying to acquire some intuition about testing multivariate hypotheses where the test statistic involves inverse covariance matrix. As an example, suppose we have a $p$-variate random vector that ...
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### Geometric intuition for how ridge ($L_2$) regularization helps under multicollinearity

We have some nice posts (1, 2 and likely more) illustrating multicollinearity geometrically. Now, ridge regression ($L_2$ regularization) is known to be a remedy of multicollinearity. What is the ...
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### Can you explain bootstrapping like I’m 5?

I think I have a handle on what bootstrapping is and why we need to use it. Please confirm if my understanding is correct: Goal of bootstrapping: To find the SE of a feature’s coefficient that you ...
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### Concrete example of what Sufficient Statistics is [closed]

Having read articles to try to understand Sufficient Statistics. Sufficient statistics for layman A sufficient statistic summarizes all the information contained in a sample so that you would make ...
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### Is there an outer product counterpart for the Covariance?

Covariance The covariance of two quantities $X$ and $Y$ within a population, $Cov(X,Y)$, is symmetric and bilinear. It is also true that $Cov(X,X) \ge 0$. So, clearly $Cov(X,Y)$ qualifies as an inner ...
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### Intuitive effect size (and CI) for one-way comparison of group means?

I'm a big fan of common language effect sizes (e.g. McGraw and Wong's CL or Cohen's U3 - "what proportion of group 1 are higher than the average for group 2"). I've been scrabbling around ...
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### In a diff-in-diff or regression discontinuity research design, why is it important to describe why the counterfactual is a plausible one?

I've heard it mentioned that in difference-in-differences, regression discontinuity, or even in some other quasi-experimental research designs, that the counterfactual should be explained as a ...
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### Why is each observation in a sample considered a random variable in linear regression?

I have the following excerpt in my statistics textbook: I am confused by the sentence: "Another way statisticians treat this model is that, assume $X_1...X_n$ are random variables, we make ...
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### Why does $\underset{\theta}{\arg\max }p_{\text{model}}(X;{\theta}) =\underset{\theta}{\arg\max} \prod_{i=1}^{m}p_{\text{model}}({x}^{(i)} ;\theta)$?

We have seen some definitions of common estimators and analyzed their properties. But where did these estimators come from? Rather than guessing that some function might make a good estimator and then ...
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### Intuition Maximum likelihood [duplicate]

Can someone describe in simple words what the Intuition behind maximum likelihood estimation is and why it is so commonly used in statistics? Certainly, there are many other ways to estimate ...
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### Explain in layperson's terms why predictive models aren't causally interpretable

Imagine that you are asked to infer some causal effect -- a change in an outcome $y$ in response to some variable $x$. But, the person asking for this directs you to use a predictive model to do so. ...
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### Two basic questions about icp (iterative closest point) algorithm

I am trying to learn shape analysis and a part is learning icp. I have many confusions but for now I have two basic questions: Does the point clouds need to have the same number of points for icp? ...
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### In permutation test, why do we take the proportion of sampled permutations with value equal or larger than the observed value?

The tutorial I followed explains permutation testing in an intuitive way. However, it has confused me in one specific part. Why do we take as p-value the proportion/probability of permutation with ...
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### Intuition underyling kinds of time series that are typically additive or typically multiplicative with examples

What is the intuition underyling the kinds of time series that are typically additive or typically multiplicative? From what I understand, additive time series are such that variations on the trend ...
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### Why do we try to "Reproduce" Hilbert Spaces in Statistics?

I am trying to better understand why people are interested in "reproducing" Hilbert Spaces in Statistics and Machine Learning. I (think) understand the general idea behind Hilbert Spaces. ...
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### Practical consequences of wrong interpretation of confidence intervals

Can you give me a simple (but preferably common) example (or R/Python simulation) of what are practical consequences of wrong interpretation of frequentist confidence intervals? Especially when they ...
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### What is an intuitive interpretation for the softmax transformation?

A recent question on this site asked about the intuition of softmax regression. This has inspired me to ask a corresponding question about the intuitive meaning of the softmax transformation itself. ...
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### Pairwise deletion and non-positive definite sample covariance matrix

So I have read that using pairwise deletion can lead to a non-positive definite matrix. However, I tried to find a source which showed this mathematically. Can someone point me to that? My intuition ...