The 7 ±2 Levels of Abstraction in Understanding Power
Bill Alford, Statistician, Kimberly-Clark Corp.
When working with certain researchers, marketers and managers there's a fair amount of skepticism about the need to conduct a study "THAT big and THAT expensive." When working with students it is common to find that they are dubious "these numbers mean anything." Thus, it is often necessary to teach abstract concepts along the way to communicate an essential understanding of statistical power. Graphical tools help, and interactive graphics capabilities, like those in JMP, are powerful tools for demonstrating important ideas such as power as well as the power of statistical analysis. This paper lays out the abstract notions people need to cope with to reach a reasonable level of understanding of power, and some of the interactive graphical devices in JMP that can help them reach that understanding.