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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Case Against Statistics-as-Methods: Confessions of a Born-Again Planmaker


I n most planning programs, "methods" mean statistics. I n a 1 983 survey of 71 North American planning schools, E.H. Baxter found that statistics, chiefly inferential statistics, formed the core component of first-year planning methods classes in almost all of the planning pro­ grams surveyed ( 1 983). What explains this popularity? Statistics, I sus­ pect, has much the same appeal as a succesfs ul political candidate - although exciting to only a few, it is nontheless acceptable to many.

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