Glossary of Statistical Terms: Definition Abduction

In this process, a theory is derived from a (surprising) observation so that the observation’s truth can be proven. For example: the fact that large masses (like planets) divert light rays is found to be generally surprising. Yet, according to the laws of physics, large masses pull small masses (gravity). Here is the resulting abduction: light rays have mass. See also deduction and induction. Abstract formula: The fact F is observed in a surprising fashion. But when the scientific rule R is true, then the fact F is considered understandable – there is a reason to believe R is true.

Please note that the definitions in our statistics encyclopedia are simplified explanations of terms. Our goal is to make the definitions accessible for a broad audience; thus it is possible that some definitions do not adhere entirely to scientific standards.

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