On the Statistical Treatment of Football Numbers

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Tells a story about Professor X who was given an assignment to distribute “football numbers” to his university. Professor X liked dealing with cardinal numbers not ordinal numbers because cardinal numbers had rules that could be followed and obeyed. After a dispute about the sample and distribution of numbers he realizes that “football numbers” obey the same laws of sampling as they would if they were real honest-to-God cardinal numbers. The next year, he thinks, he will arrange things so that the population distribution of his “football numbers” is approximately normal. Then the means and standard deviations that he calculates from these numbers will obey the usual mathematical relations that have been proven to be applicable to random samples from any normal population. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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