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Surrogate parameter

Synonyms: Proxy parameter

The term surrogate parameter is common in medical literature while proxy parameter or simply proxy is often used in social science. Both terms mean virtually the same. An easily measurable parameter that is used instead of an other that is difficult to measure or not measurable at all.


  • In medicine. parameters are required to give an early though imprecise warning of an adverse development, such as in this example the weakness of patient in an intensive care unit is measured by maximum inspiratory pressure[1].
  • In an epidemiological study vasectomy and male circumcision was tested as a proxy for HIV infection[2].
  • Turchin used is his book many proxies to determine demographic parameters[3].


From fauceir perspective all parameters are more or less proxy or surrogate parameters. We merely used to call those parameter with greater precision true parameters while those whose precision might be questioned are called proxy or surrogate parameters.

Tags: Theory

Categories: Epistemology Philosophy


(c) Mato Nagel, Weißwasser 2004-2013, Disclaimer