Our year 12s are back in school getting a good head start on their year 13 studies. One of my tutees asked why Contingency Tables (from the S2 course – goodness of fit test) were called that. I didn’t know but it seemed like a question worthy of exploring.
I asked twitter and got these responses:
@michiexile My guess would be because they give you quantified risks for systematic outcomes, to plan from.
@BetterMaths i suppose as it’s a relationship between two or more categorical variables – they are ‘contingent’ on each other.
So, I now know that this was certainly a term created by Karl Pearson (or PMCC and other fame) in 1904. It appears that the name was chosen mainly because it’s a system for checking whether some entries in the table are contingent on others.
Let me know if you have more to add.