Periodization in the History of Statistics

  • Jo, Jae-Keun (Department of Statistical Information, Kyungsung University)
  • Published : 2004.04.01


The history of statistics from the mid-seventeenth to the early twentieth century is considered and a scheme of periodization is proposed. In the first period(1650-1750), named 'the age of probability' in this paper, concept of probability emerged, and in the second period(1750-1820), named 'the age of error theory', statistical techniques such as the least square method are developed by astronomers and geodesists. Their techniques are supported theoretically by mathematicians like Laplace and Gauss in that period. The third period(1820-1880) is called 'the age of statistics(as a plural noun)' since statistical data played prominent roles in social sciences such as sociology, psychology. Finally the last period(1880- ), called 'the age of statistics(as a singular noun)', the discipline of statistics came to maturity both in theory and application.


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