# 18.4: Other Ways of Doing Inference

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A different sense in which this book is incomplete is that it focuses pretty heavily on a very narrow and old-fashioned view of how inferential statistics should be done. In Chapter 10 I talked a little bit about the idea of unbiased estimators, sampling distributions and so on. In Chapter 11 I talked about the theory of null hypothesis significance testing and p-values. These ideas have been around since the early 20th century, and the tools that I’ve talked about in the book rely very heavily on the theoretical ideas from that time. I’ve felt obligated to stick to those topics because the vast majority of data analysis in science is also reliant on those ideas. However, the theory of statistics is not restricted to those topics, and – while everyone should know about them because of their practical importance – in many respects those ideas do not represent best practice for contemporary data analysis. One of the things that I’m especially happy with is that I’ve been able to go a little beyond this. Chapter 17 now presents the Bayesian perspective in a reasonable amount of detail, but the book overall is still pretty heavily weighted towards the frequentist orthodoxy. Additionally, there are a number of other approaches to inference that are worth mentioning: