Skip to main content

The origins and uses of regression analysis

  • Chapter
  • 3053 Accesses

Abstract

Statistical techniques are tools that enable us to answer questions about possible patterns in empirical data. It is not surprising, then, to learn that many important techniques of statistical analysis were developed by scientists who were interested in answering very specific empirical questions. So it was with regression analysis. The history of this particular statistical technique can be traced back to late nineteenth-century England and the pursuits of a gentleman scientist, Francis Galton. Galton was born into a wealthy family that produced more than its share of geniuses; he and Charles Darwin, the famous biologist, were first cousins. During his lifetime, Galton studied everything from fingerprint classification to meteorology, but he gained widespread recognition primarily for his work on inheritance. His most important insight came to him while he was studying the inheritance of one of the most obvious of all human characteristics: height. In order to understand how the characteristic of height was passed from one generation to the next, Galton collected data on the heights of individuals and the heights of their parents. After constructing frequency tables that classified these individuals both by their height and by the average height of their parents, Galton came to the unremarkable conclusion that tall people usually had tall parents and short people usually had short parents.

Keywords

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution.

Buying options

Chapter
USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
eBook
USD   84.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Softcover Book
USD   109.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info
Hardcover Book
USD   109.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Learn about institutional subscriptions

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 1997 Plenum Press, New York

About this chapter

Cite this chapter

(1997). The origins and uses of regression analysis. In: Understanding Regression Analysis. Springer, Boston, MA. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-585-25657-3_1

Download citation

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-585-25657-3_1

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Boston, MA

  • Print ISBN: 978-0-306-45648-0

  • Online ISBN: 978-0-585-25657-3

  • eBook Packages: Springer Book Archive

Publish with us

Policies and ethics