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In statistics , the bias or bias function of an estimator is the difference between this estimator's expected value and the true value of the parameter being estimated. An estimator or decision rule with zero bias is called unbiased. In statistics, "bias" is an objective property of an estimator.

In many scientific research fields, statistical models are used to describe a system or a population, to interpret a phenomenon, or to investigate the [Page 85] relationship among various measurements. These statistical models often contain one or multiple components, called parameters , that are unknown and thus need to be estimated from the data sometimes also called the sample.

An estimator, which is essentially a function of the observable data, is biased if its expectation does not equal the parameter to be estimated. Let be its estimator based on an observed sample.

Then is a biased estimator if , where E denotes the expectation operator. Similarly, one may say that Show page numbers Download PDF. Search form icon-arrow-top icon-arrow-top. Page Site Advanced 7 of Edited by: Neil J. Buy in print. Looks like you do not have access to this content. Entries Per Page:. Methods Map Research Methods. Explore the Methods Map. Related Content. Back to Top. Find content related to this author.

Theoretical Statistics pp Cite as. Example 3. In some cases this problem will not arise if both estimators are unbiased. We may then be able to identify a best unbiased estimator. These ideas and limitations of the theory are discussed in Sections 4. Sections 4.

Example 3. Definition 3. In order to compute its expectation, we need to obtain its p. We can derive it from Exercise 2. The c.

*Statisticians often face a dilemma, namely how to decide between choosing a parametric versus a nonparametric statistical model. Parametric statistical models can be asymptotically efficient if the model assumptions hold but biased under model misspecification. Nonparametric models, on the other hand, are often asymptotically unbiased but likely to be less efficient than parametric models if the parametric model is correctly specified.*

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In many scientific research fields, statistical models are used to describe a system or a population, to interpret a phenomenon, or to investigate the [Page 85] relationship among various measurements. These statistical models often contain one or multiple components, called parameters , that are unknown and thus need to be estimated from the data sometimes also called the sample. An estimator, which is essentially a function of the observable data, is biased if its expectation does not equal the parameter to be estimated. Let be its estimator based on an observed sample.

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