Date: Tue, 16 Mar 2010 11:07:14 -1000
Reply-To: Java Joe <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sender: "SPSSX(r) Discussion" <SPSSX-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From: Java Joe <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: Using gender as an outcome variable in logistic regression
Thank you very much for your explanation which helps my perspective on using
gender as a DV. My male friends especially appreciate your funny (and
true) cause-and-effect example that "not wanting to ask for directions does
not cause you to turn into a male". ;) ~joesy
On Tue, Mar 16, 2010 at 4:43 AM, Steve Simon, P.Mean Consulting <
> Just to add a few philosophical points to the discussion, remember those
> urn problems that you had way back when in your probability classes. Those
> balls were either black or white and but when you draw one randomly from an
> urn, it has a probability distribution. Similarly, men and women have a
> probability distribution when drawn randomly from an urn. So if you draw a
> person randomly from the urn labelled "does not like to ask for directions
> when lost" the probability that that person is male is approximately 98%.
> Since gender can have a probability distribution, it can be modeled using
> tools like logistic regression.
> Now if you think in terms of cause and effect, not wanting to ask for
> directions does not cause you to turn into a male, but that is a problem
> with thinking of independent variables as causes and depdendent variables as
> If you wanted to you could use the urn model to reverse the time arrow.
> Draw one ball and throw it away. Then draw ten balls without replacement and
> note their colors. The data from these ten balls can be used to make
> inferences about the first ball, even though they occurred in time after the
> first ball.
> So go ahead and model gender (or race or any other immutable
> characteristic) as a dependent variable. It doesn't lead to a logical
> contradiction as long as you discard the idea of independent variables
> "causing" a dependent outcome.
> Steve Simon, Standard Disclaimer
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