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RE: st: NBREG for ordinal scales

From   "Nick Cox" <>
To   <>
Subject   RE: st: NBREG for ordinal scales
Date   Wed, 11 Oct 2006 21:30:57 +0100

I don't follow the example here from your posting, 
but I have no quarrel with the late great James
S. Coleman and his wonderful book (from 1964, 
in my memory) and I am sure he understood the 
Poisson better than I do. 

I am attacking the application of count models 
to non-count data, which I understood Timothy Mak to be 
defending, and I don't see my dimensional arguments being
addressed here. 

At some point this thread may have got 
detached from the original question.... 


David Bell
> On Oct 10, 2006, at 1:08 PM, n j cox wrote:
> > I think it's pretty much wired in that Poisson,
> > negative binomial, etc., really are for counts.
> >
> Actually, I seem to recall that Poisson processes are based on  
> probabilities of changes of state.  If you are counting the  
> sequential changes, then you have count data and it is  
> straightforward to label each state with the number of persons (or  
> other entities) the state represents.  If, on the other hand, the  
> changes are psychological (such as the change from being strongly  
> opposed to some action to being "only opposed") then the labels for  
> the states are not counts.  As I recall, James Coleman, in  
> Introduction to Mathematical Sociology (1965) used Poisson models of  
> responses to ordinal attitudinal scales.
> The approach never became popular in sociology, but it gives a  
> justification for using Poisson and related processes on non-count  
> data, as Matthew seems to want to do.

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