**APG-L Archives**

From:Subject:[APG] Describing Degrees of ConfidenceDate:Mon, 16 Jun 2008 01:57:03 EDT

The following request is being crossposted to APG, BCG and TGF

(TRANSITIONAL-GENEALOGISTS-FORUM)

mail lists. If you are inclined to take part, please submit only one

response, but name the list where you first saw it.

Elizabeth Shown Mills, in Evidence Explained, page 19, presented a list of

terms that can be used to describe and qualify levels of confidence we have in

information, evidence and conclusions. They were arranged in what she called

a logical hierarchy, ranging from the highest, certainly, to the lowest,

perhaps. Each is accompanied by a word description, and you may find it helpful

to read over them before going on to the short survey I am asking you to

complete.

The purpose of the survey is to determine how uniformly people perceive

these and some other similar terms, and the extent of any differences that may

exist. In order to do so, you will be asked to assign numbers to these

qualitative terms, to provide some quantitative basis for estimating the extent of

any differences that may exist, even though the statistical validity of the

results may be limited.

To respond, cut and paste the material between the horizontal lines below

into an email addressed to me: (mailto:)

rather than use the "reply" button and flood the list, digest and archives

with individual replies. If you prefer to respond anonymously, you may mail

your answers to me at 2004 Kentmere Pkwy, Wilmington DE 19806.

I'll let you know generally through this list what the answers show, and

may, if warranted, offer more detail to a publication for consideration.

.

Please note beside each of the terms that follow the lowest percentage of

probability you associate with the term, or if you prefer, the range of

probabilities for which you find the term appropriate. (A 90% probability would mean

chances are 90 out of 100 that an assertion is true, correct, or in accord

with what happened.)

The first group contains the terms from Evidence Explained, arranged from

highest to lowest level of confidence. The second group, in no particular

order, are other descriptive terms that have been used in an attempt to

communicate levels of confidence more precisely, including negative ones.

Thank you for your cooperation.

_____________________________________________

Mail list where first seen:

Please place beside each term either (1) the lowest numerical probability

you associate with the term, or (2) the range of probabilities, from lowest to

highest, that you associate with the term. You may use either alternative, as

seems most appropriate for a particular term.

Terms from Evidence Explained

Certainly

Probably

Possibly

Likely

Apparently

Perhaps

Other terms describing confidence levels

Almost certainly

Undoubtedly

Highly likely

Very probably

Unlikely

Very unlikely

Hardly possible

Quite impossible

________________________________________________________

Caution: The statistical limitations of this survey are recognized. The

sample will be self-selected rather than random, little consideration has been

given to the order in which the items are presented or its possible effect, and

there has been no pre-testing or other validation. However, I believe the

results may be of interest to the extent they show differences in how we may

view these terms, and allow some analysis of whatever variation appears.

Donn Devine, CG, CGL

Wilmington, Delaware, USA

CG, Certified Genealogist, CGL, and Certified Genealogical Lecturer are

service marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, used under license

by board certificants after periodic evaluation, and the board name is

registered in the US Patent & Trademark Office.

**************Vote for your city's best dining and nightlife. City's Best

2008. (http://citysbest.aol.com?ncid=aolacg00050000000102)

**This thread:**

**[APG] Describing Degrees of Confidence by**- Re: [APG] Describing Degrees of Confidence by Kathy <>
- Re: [APG] Describing Degrees of Confidence by "Anne Roach" <>
- Re: [APG] Describing Degrees of Confidence by Kathy <>
- Re: [APG] Describing Degrees of Confidence by "Christy Fillerup" <>
- Re: [APG] Describing Degrees of Confidence by Kathy <>
- Re: [APG] Describing Degrees of Confidence by Connie Sheets <>
- Re: [APG] Describing Degrees of Confidence by
- Re: [APG] Describing Degrees of Confidence by "Donald W. Moore, CG" <>

- Re: [APG] Describing Degrees of Confidence by

- Re: [APG] Describing Degrees of Confidence by Connie Sheets <>

- Re: [APG] Describing Degrees of Confidence by Kathy <>

- Re: [APG] Describing Degrees of Confidence by "crscott" <>
- Re: [APG] Describing Degrees of Confidence by Ray Beere Johnson II <>

- Re: [APG] Describing Degrees of Confidence by "Christy Fillerup" <>

- Re: [APG] Describing Degrees of Confidence by Kathy <>

- Re: [APG] Describing Degrees of Confidence by "Anne Roach" <>

- Re: [APG] Describing Degrees of Confidence by Worth Anderson <>

- Re: [APG] Describing Degrees of Confidence by
- Re: [APG] Describing Degrees of Confidence by "crscott" <>

- Re: [APG] Describing Degrees of Confidence by "Penny" <>

- Re: [APG] Describing Degrees of Confidence by Kathy <>