Posts

December 19, 2014

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6:47 PM | The Use of Sampling Weights in Bayesian Hierarchical Models for Small Area Estimation
All this discussion of plagiarism is leaving a bad taste in my mouth (or, I guess I should say, a bad feeling in my fingers, given that I’m expressing all this on the keyboard) so I wanted to close off the workweek with something more interesting. I happened to come across the above-titled paper by […] The post The Use of Sampling Weights in Bayesian Hierarchical Models for Small Area Estimation appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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2:40 PM | Defense by escalation
Basbøll has another post regarding some copying-without-attribution by the somewhat-famous academic entertainer Slavoj Zizek. In his post, Basbøll links to theologian and professor Adam Kotsko (cool: who knew there were still theologians out and about in academia?) who defends Zizek, in part on the grounds that Zizek’s critics were being too harsh. Kotsko writes of […] The post Defense by escalation appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social […]

December 18, 2014

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8:12 PM | The best skeptics are gullible
Our culture groups science with concepts like skepticism, logic, and reductionism, together as a cluster in opposition to creativity, holistic reasoning, and the “right brain.” This network of alliances feeds into another opposition our culture accepts, that between art and science. I’ve always looked down on the whole thing, but sometimes I feel lonely in […]
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2:16 PM | From Smartphones to (Playful) Smart Devices?
If you were a techie nerd in the 80s, you might have used a Casio Databank wristwatch: a bulky device that had a small LCD screen, capable of acting as a calculator, address book, as well as a simple gaming … Continue reading →
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2:06 PM | Message to Booleans: It’s an additive world, we just live in it
Boolean models (“it’s either A or (B and C)”) seem to be the natural way that we think, but additive models (“10 points if you have A, 3 points if you have B, 2 points if you have C”) seem to describe reality better—at least, the aspects of reality that I study in my research. […] The post Message to Booleans: It’s an additive world, we just live in it appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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1:34 PM | Influence.ME now supports sampling weights
Influence.ME is an R package that helps detecting influential cases in multilevel regression models. It has been around for a while now, and recent changes in lme4 broke the functionality of using influence.ME with sampling weights. Thanks to a kind contribution of some code by user Jennifer Bufford, influence.ME now should work with multilevel models… Continue Reading
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7:35 AM | Obesity causes inflammation
Hormones produced by the adipose tissue can cause diseases. The risk of arthritis is much higher among the obese than people of normal weight, and one reason for this is...

December 17, 2014

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11:20 PM | Hey, I just wrote my April Fool’s post!
(scheduled to appear in a few months, of course). I think you’ll like it. Or hate it. Depending on who you are. The post Hey, I just wrote my April Fool’s post! appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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10:29 PM | Wegman Frey Hauser Weick Fischer Dr. Anil Potti Stapel comes clean
Thomas Leeper points me to Diederik Stapel’s memoir, “Faking Science: A True Story of Academic Fraud,” translated by Nick Brown and available online for free download. The post Wegman Frey Hauser Weick Fischer Dr. Anil Potti Stapel comes clean appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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2:46 PM | MEC 2015: Midnight Sun conference on media education, ICT and games
Spread the word of this interesting conference – I am one of the keynotes and the call for papers is now open: Welcome to the MEC 2015! Media Education Conference – MEC 2015 (former NBE) is an informal and friendly … Continue reading →
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2:30 PM | Label It a “Game” to Get Gamification Benefits
Gamification, which refers to the use of game elements in non-game contexts, is commonly used as a way to influence the motivation of people in a variety of contexts, including consumer behavior, employee behavior, and student behavior. Much prior research on gamification has been imprecise in which particular game elements are adopted; for example, a study […]The post Label It a “Game” to Get Gamification Benefits appeared first on NeoAcademic.Related articles from […]
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2:03 PM | I’d like to see a preregistered replication on this one
Under the heading, “Results too good to be true,” Lee Sechrest points me to this discussion by “Neuroskeptic” of a discussion by psychology researcher Greg Francis of a published (and publicized) claim by biologists Brian Dias and Kerry Ressler that “Parental olfactory experience [in mice] influences behavior and neural structure in subsequent generations.” That’s a […] The post I’d like to see a preregistered replication on this one […]
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1:32 PM | Networks and Command in the American Civil War
#NetworkScience How might Network Science impact the study of the Civil War? One way, which I have been exploring this fall semester, is by analyzing the transmission and reception of information by commanders at key moments in the military events … Continue reading →

December 16, 2014

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2:18 PM | Expectation propagation as a way of life
Aki Vehtari, Pasi Jylänki, Christian Robert, Nicolas Chopin, John Cunningham, and I write: We revisit expectation propagation (EP) as a prototype for scalable algorithms that partition big datasets into many parts and analyze each part in parallel to perform inference of shared parameters. The algorithm should be particularly efficient for hierarchical models, for which the […] The post Expectation propagation as a way of life appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal […]
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9:42 AM | The intriguing weaknesses of deep learning and deep neural networks
Deep learning (and neural networks generally) have impressed me a lot for what they can do, but much more so for what they can’t. They seem to be vulnerable to three of the very same strange, deep design limits that seem to constrain the human mind-brain system. The intractability of introspection. The fact that we […]
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7:30 AM | Kutsu: Pelitutkimuksen vuosikirja 2015, uusi päätoimittaja
[Finnish Yearbook of Game Studies, call for 2015] Pelitutkimuksen vuosikirja jatkaa toimintaansa edelleen myös ensi vuonna. Päätoimittaja vaihtuu: vuosikirjan perustamisesta vuodesta 2009 suuren työn tehnyt professori Jaakko Suominen luovuttaa valtikan Jyväskylän yliopiston nykykulttuurin professorille Raine Koskimaalle, joka aloittaa vuoden alusta … Continue reading →
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2:24 AM | Damn, I was off by a factor of 2!
I hate when that happens. Demography is tricky. Oh well, as they say in astronomy, who cares, it was less than an order of magnitude! The post Damn, I was off by a factor of 2! appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

December 15, 2014

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3:44 PM | “Now the company appears to have screwed up badly, and they’ve done it in pretty much exactly the way you would expect a company to screw up when it doesn’t drill down into the data.”
Palko tells a good story: One of the accepted truths of the Netflix narrative is that CEO Reed Hastings is obsessed with data and everything the company does is data driven . . . Of course, all 21st century corporations are relatively data-driven. The fact that Netflix has large data sets on customer behavior does […] The post “Now the company appears to have screwed up badly, and they’ve done it in pretty much exactly the way you would expect a company to screw up when it […]
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2:00 PM | On deck this week
Mon: “Now the company appears to have screwed up badly, and they’ve done it in pretty much exactly the way you would expect a company to screw up when it doesn’t drill down into the data.” Tues: Expectation propagation as a way of life Wed: I’d like to see a preregistered replication on this one […] The post On deck this week appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

December 14, 2014

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9:16 PM | The Best PsycHoliday Stocking Stuffer!
If there are three things that people tend to have on their minds during the holiday season, it’s a) saving money, b) friends & family, and c) finding the perfect gifts for everyone on their... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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6:51 PM | The latest episode in my continuing effort to use non-sports analogies
In a unit about the law of large numbers, sample size, and margins of error, I used the notorious beauty, sex, and power example: A researcher, working with a sample of size 3000, found that the children of beautiful parents were more likely to be girls, compared to the children of less-attractive parents. Can such […] The post The latest episode in my continuing effort to use non-sports analogies appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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2:34 PM | I like the clever way they tell the story. It’s a straightforward series of graphs but the reader has to figure out where to click and what to do, which makes the experience feel more like a voyage of discovery.
Jonathan Falk asks what I think of this animated slideshow by Matthew Klein on “How Americans Die”: Please click on the above to see the actual slideshow, as this static image does not do it justice. What do I think? Here was my reaction: It is good, but I was thrown off by the very […] The post I like the clever way they tell the story. It’s a straightforward series of graphs but the reader has to figure out where to click and what to do, which makes the experience […]

December 13, 2014

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2:26 PM | Don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t . . . We’re brothers of the same mind, unblind
Hype can be irritating but sometimes it’s necessary to get people’s attention (as in the example pictured above). So I think it’s important to keep these two things separate: (a) reactions (positive or negative) to the hype, and (b) attitudes about the subject of the hype. Overall, I like the idea of “data science” and […] The post Don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t . . . We’re brothers of the same mind, unblind appeared first on […]

December 12, 2014

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2:23 PM | Saying things that are out of place
Basbøll points us to a column by Michael Shermer, a journalist and self-described skeptic who’s written a lot about skepticism, atheism, etc. Recently, though, Shermer wrote of an event that “shook [his] skepticism to its core”—it was a story about an old radio that didn’t work, then briefly started to work again, then stopped working. […] The post Saying things that are out of place appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social […]
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10:57 AM | Next Generation Political Campaign Platform?
[This post is by David K. Park] I’ve been imagining the next generation political campaign platform. If I were to build it, the platform would have five components: Data Collection, Sanitization, Storage, Streaming and Ingestion: This area will focus on the identification and development of the tools necessary to acquire the correct data sets for […] The post Next Generation Political Campaign Platform? appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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8:32 AM | Party On! (If You're Middle-Class and Young): Age Differences Explain Social Class Differences in University Friendships
In a recent meta-analytic review, I found that working-class students are less integrated at university than their middle-class peers. I offered up nine potential explanations for this working-class exclusion effect. It turns out that one of the simplest explanations in this list is also the most promising. It’s all to do with age.Working-class students tend to be older than middle-class students. Why? Most likely because they don’t tend to go to university immediately after […]

Rubin, M. & Wright, C. (2014). Age differences explain social class differences in students’ friendship at university: Implications for transition and retention, Higher Education, DOI: 10.1007/s10734-014-9844-8

Citation
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1:58 AM | November 2014: Why do women who have anal sex, have anal sex?
"I’ll have what she’s having": why younger women are more prone to pursuing the partners of their peers. We also find out whether high heels really do put you one step ahead of the competition, and why women who engage in anal sex engage in anal sex. I mean seriously, why??Download the MP3Do high heels or flats make a woman more attractive? Nicolas Gueguen took to the streets of France to find out.The articles covered in the show:Little, A. C., Caldwell, C. A., Jones, B. C., & […]

December 11, 2014

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2:01 PM | The Fallacy of Placing Confidence in Confidence Intervals
Richard Morey writes: On the tail of our previous paper about confidence intervals, showing that researchers tend to misunderstand the inferences one can draw from CIs, we [Morey, Rink Hoekstra, Jeffrey Rouder, Michael Lee, and EJ Wagenmakers] have another paper that we have just submitted which talks about the theory underlying inference by CIs. Our […] The post The Fallacy of Placing Confidence in Confidence Intervals appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social […]
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10:00 AM | Tech Hub Sustainability in Africa #HubSustainability
Researcher Dan Evans continued to participate in a series of Google Hangouts partnering with AfriLabs and AfriHive discussing tech hub sustainability in Sub-Saharan Africa. The most recent occurred on 5 December. The main focus of these discussions have been the … Continue reading →
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7:53 AM | Professor Tuula Tamminen appointed to EC health panel
Child psychiatry professor Tuula Tamminen from the University of Tampere has been appointed to the Scientific Panel for Health of the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 research innovation programme. She is...
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