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Math Help - [SOLVED] Parametric or Non-Parametric: That Is the Question!

  1. #1
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    [SOLVED] Parametric or Non-Parametric: That Is the Question!

    Could someone take a look at this and let me know if I am limited to nonparametric tests because of the way I selected the data?

    My data is interval in nature, but the series used to get that data were not randomly selected. Allow me to explain.

    I started with a data set from another researcher consisting of 88 series of crimes. Each series consists of the lat/lon coordinates for a number of crime scenes, which vary from series to series. Each series also contains the lat/lon coordinates of the criminal's home residence. I am not exactly sure how these cases were chosen for the set, but they were most likely selected based on their status as solved cases committed by a single criminal living at one location for the duration of the series.

    I then selected 55 series from the set of 88 based on criteria recommended by researchers for conducting my type of research. This basically consisted of eliminating series where the home residence is significantly outside the convex hull of the crime scenes.

    I ran the dataset through three separate programs that predict likely areas that the criminal lives

    The actual data I am testing consists of an accuracy measure called the "search cost". Basically, it is the percentage of the map each program has to search before finding the actual home residence.

    Am I limited to nonparametric tests because of the way I selected certain series to be included in the research? Or can I employ parametric tests because I did not select the series based on the the actual data I am analyzing (search costs) and had no idea what those would be while building the data set?
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by psychgradstudent View Post
    Could someone take a look at this and let me know if I am limited to nonparametric tests because of the way I selected the data?

    My data is interval in nature, but the series used to get that data were not randomly selected. Allow me to explain.

    I started with a data set from another researcher consisting of 88 series of crimes. Each series consists of the lat/lon coordinates for a number of crime scenes, which vary from series to series. Each series also contains the lat/lon coordinates of the criminal's home residence. I am not exactly sure how these cases were chosen for the set, but they were most likely selected based on their status as solved cases committed by a single criminal living at one location for the duration of the series.

    I then selected 55 series from the set of 88 based on criteria recommended by researchers for conducting my type of research. This basically consisted of eliminating series where the home residence is significantly outside the convex hull of the crime scenes.

    I ran the dataset through three separate programs that predict likely areas that the criminal lives

    The actual data I am testing consists of an accuracy measure called the "search cost". Basically, it is the percentage of the map each program has to search before finding the actual home residence.

    Am I limited to nonparametric tests because of the way I selected certain series to be included in the research? Or can I employ parametric tests because I did not select the series based on the the actual data I am analyzing (search costs) and had no idea what those would be while building the data set?

    I must say that from your description of the data available (without really
    understanding what you are trying to do) I would guess that whatever you
    do it will be invalid.

    RonL
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  3. #3
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    I must have not described it well enough. I actually got a chance to discuss this with my thesis chair and resolved the issue. Thanks!
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