Eliciting judgements about uncertain population means and variances

Abstract

We propose an elicitation method for quantifying an expert’s opinion about an uncertain population mean and variance. The method involves eliciting judgements directly about the population mean or median, and eliciting judgements about the population proportion with a particular characteristic, as a means of inferring the expert’s beliefs about the variance. The method can be used for a range of two-parameter parametric families of distributions, assuming a finite mean and variance. An illustration is given involving an expert’s beliefs about the distribution of times taken to translate pages of text. The method can be implemented in R using the package SHELF.

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