All models are wrong

driven by the relevant variables and assumptions
"All models are wrong" is a common aphorism in statistics; it is often expanded as "All models are wrong, but some are useful".wikipedia
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Statistical model

modelprobabilistic modelstatistical modeling
It is usually considered to be applicable to not only statistical models, but to scientific models generally.
Indeed, as Burnham & Anderson state, "A model is a simplification or approximation of reality and hence will not reflect all of reality" —whence the saying "all models are wrong".

George E. P. Box

George BoxGeorge Edward Pelham BoxBox, George E. P.
The aphorism is generally attributed to the statistician George Box, although the underlying concept predates Box's writings.
Additionally, Box famously wrote, in various books and papers, that "all models are wrong, but some are useful".

Scientific modelling

modelmodelingmodels
It is usually considered to be applicable to not only statistical models, but to scientific models generally.

Model selection

statistical model selectionselectingchoose a model
In 2002, K.P. Burnham and D.R. Anderson published their much-cited book on statistical model selection.

Aphorism

aphorismsaphoristaphoristic
"All models are wrong" is a common aphorism in statistics; it is often expanded as "All models are wrong, but some are useful".

Statistics

statisticalstatistical analysisstatistician
"All models are wrong" is a common aphorism in statistics; it is often expanded as "All models are wrong, but some are useful".

Statistician

statisticiansStatistical theoristsstatistical analyst
The aphorism is generally attributed to the statistician George Box, although the underlying concept predates Box's writings.

Journal of the American Statistical Association

JASA.ACS
The first record of Box saying "all models are wrong" is in a 1976 paper published in the Journal of the American Statistical Association.

William Hunter (statistician)

William HunterHunter, WilliamWilliam G Hunter
Box's widely cited book Statistics for Experimenters (co-authored with William Hunter) does not include the aphorism in its first edition (published in 1978).

American Statistical Association

ASAJournal of Agricultural, Biological, and Environmental StatisticsAmerican Statistical Society
One example is from 1978, while Box was President of the American Statistical Association.

Peter McCullagh

McCullagh, PeterP. McCullagh
In 1983, the statisticians Peter McCullagh and John Nelder published their much-cited book on generalized linear models.

John Nelder

John Ashworth NelderNelderNelder, John
In 1983, the statisticians Peter McCullagh and John Nelder published their much-cited book on generalized linear models.

Generalized linear model

generalized linear modelslink functiongeneralised linear model
In 1983, the statisticians Peter McCullagh and John Nelder published their much-cited book on generalized linear models.

David Cox (statistician)

David CoxSir David CoxDavid R. Cox
In 1995, the statistician Sir David Cox commented as follows.

J. Michael Steele

Steele, J. MichaelSteele
The statistician J. Michael Steele has commented on the aphorism as follows.

Andrew Gelman

GelmanGelman, A.Gelman, Andrew
In 2008, the statistician Andrew Gelman responded to that, saying in particular the following.

Philosophy of science

philosopher of sciencephilosophers of sciencephilosophy
In 2013, the philosopher of science Peter Truran published an essay related to the aphorism.

Newton's law of universal gravitation

law of universal gravitationuniversal gravitationNewtonian gravity
Truran's essay further notes that Newton's theory of gravitation has been supplanted by Einstein's theory of relativity and yet Newton's theory remains generally "empirically adequate".

Theory of relativity

relativityrelativisticrelativity theory
Truran's essay further notes that Newton's theory of gravitation has been supplanted by Einstein's theory of relativity and yet Newton's theory remains generally "empirically adequate".

David Hand (statistician)

David HandDavid J. HandD. J. Hand
In 2014, the statistician David Hand made the following statement.

Peter J. Bickel

Peter BickelP.J. Bickel
In 2016, P.J. Bickel and K.A. Doksum published the second volume of their book on mathematical statistics.

Mathematical statistics

mathematical statisticianstatistics mathematical statistics
In 2016, P.J. Bickel and K.A. Doksum published the second volume of their book on mathematical statistics.

Georg Rasch

John von Neumann

von NeumannJ. von NeumannNeumann, John von
In 1947, the mathematician John von Neumann said that "truth … is much too complicated to allow anything but approximations".

Paul Valéry

Paul ValeryValéryValery
In 1942, the French philosopher-poet Paul Valéry said the following.