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Posts

April 12, 2014

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1:41 PM | “Schools of statistical thoughts are sometimes jokingly likened to religions. This analogy is not perfect—unlike religions, statistical methods have no supernatural content and make essentially no demands on our personal lives. Looking at the comparison from the other direction, it is possible to be agnostic, atheistic, or simply live one’s life without religion, but it is not really possible to do statistics without some philosophy.”
This bit is perhaps worth saying again, especially given the occasional trolling on the internet by people who disparage their ideological opponents by calling them “religious” . . . So here it is: Sometimes the choice of statistical philosophy is decided by convention or convenience. . . . In many settings, however, we have freedom […]The post “Schools of statistical thoughts are sometimes jokingly likened to religions. This analogy is not perfect—unlike […]
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9:40 AM | Your Inner Ant: How Popularity on the Web arises by Trail and Error
Every animal needs food and every animal likes food. Food is quite popular one could say. For foraging, some species like ants use the so-called trail-laying and trail-following behavior for finding the shortest path between a nest and a food source. The trail-laying and trail-following behavior consists of the following three basic principles: 1. Each time an ant moves, it lays a pheromone trail. 2. For finding its way, it senses its environment and a) follows existing trails, if there... Read […]

April 11, 2014

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7:01 PM | Cadets Contribute to Research at Raffles Institute in Singapore
#NetworkScience During Spring Break, Tyree Meadows and I were given the opportunity to participate in a social network research project in Singapore with the Raffles Institute. The Raffles Institute, which is an elite government funded school, educates children and young … Continue reading →
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1:16 PM | “More research from the lunatic fringe”
A linguist send me an email with the above title and a link to a paper, “The Effect of Language on Economic Behavior: Evidence from Savings Rates, Health Behaviors, and Retirement Assets,” by M. Keith Chen, which begins: Languages differ widely in the ways they encode time. I test the hypothesis that languages that grammatically […]The post “More research from the lunatic fringe” appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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12:09 PM | Exporting higher education management studies to Uganda
The School of Management at the University of Tampere is engaged in long-term cooperation with two Ugandan higher education institutions. These projects are funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs...

April 10, 2014

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1:46 PM | Small multiples of lineplots > maps (ok, not always, but yes in this case)
Kaiser Fung shares this graph from Ritchie King: Kaiser writes: What they did right: - Did not put the data on a map - Ordered the countries by the most recent data point rather than alphabetically - Scale labels are found only on outer edge of the chart area, rather than one set per panel […]The post Small multiples of lineplots > maps (ok, not always, but yes in this case) appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

April 09, 2014

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1:30 PM | People That Think Social Media Helps Their Work Are Probably Wrong
In an upcoming special issue of Social Science Computer Review, Landers and Callan[1] set out to understand how people actually use social media while at work and how it affects their job performance.  By polling workers across a wide variety of jobs (across at least 17 industries), they identified 8 broad ways that people use social […]Related articles from NeoAcademic:Textual Harassment at Work: Romance and Sexual Harassment on Social MediaGamification, Social Media, Mobile, […]
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1:00 PM | Advice: positive-sum, zero-sum, or negative-sum
There’s a lot of free advice out there. I offer some of it myself! As I’ve written before (see this post from 2008 reacting to this advice from Dan Goldstein for business school students, and this post from 2010 reacting to some general advice from Nassim Taleb), what we see is typically presented as advice […]The post Advice: positive-sum, zero-sum, or negative-sum appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

April 08, 2014

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6:40 PM | NetSci Cadets and Professor Present at University of Texas Africa Conference
#NetworkScience This past weekend two cadets and a professor affiliated with the Network Science Center presented their research at the 2014 University of Texas Africa Conference, “Diasporas, Old and New.”  The three presented as a panel named “Exiles, Rebels, and … Continue reading →
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1:04 PM | Understanding Simpson’s paradox using a graph
Joshua Vogelstein pointed me to this post by Michael Nielsen on how to teach Simpson’s paradox. I don’t know if Neilsen (and others) are aware that people have developed some snappy graphical methods for displaying Simpson’s paradox (and, more generally, aggregation issues). We do some this in our Red State Blue State book, but before […]The post Understanding Simpson’s paradox using a graph appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social […]
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4:07 AM | 4 Reasons Not to Settle in a Relationship
Settling is an ugly, depressing word. Few people would suggest outright that you should settle for less than you want and deserve in a relationship. Even Lori Gottlieb, author of Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough, disapproved of the use of the word in her book title, a decision she said was made by her publisher.But the pressure to settle can be very real, even if it is not communicated […]

April 07, 2014

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5:30 PM | Is Suicide Ever "Rational"?
Last week, an 89-year-old woman went from her home in Sussex, England, to the clinic in Switzerland run by the group Dignitas, where she could receive a lethal dose of barbiturates. She was not terminally ill, just old and tired of living. Her death raises questions about end-of-life decision-making and the British group known as the Society for Old Age Rational Suicide.read more
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2:30 PM | How literature is like statistical reasoning: Kosara on stories. Gelman and Basbøll on stories.
In “Story: A Definition,” visual analysis researcher Robert Kosara writes: A story ties facts together. There is a reason why this particular collection of facts is in this story, and the story gives you that reason. provides a narrative path through those facts. In other words, it guides the viewer/reader through the world, rather than just throwing […]The post How literature is like statistical reasoning: Kosara on stories. Gelman and Basbøll on stories. […]
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1:00 PM | On deck this week
Mon: How literature is like statistical reasoning: Kosara on stories. Gelman and Basbøll on stories. Tues: Understanding Simpson’s paradox using a graph Wed: Advice: positive-sum, zero-sum, or negative-sum Thurs: Small multiples of lineplots > maps (ok, not always, but yes in this case) Fri: “More research from the lunatic fringe” Sat: “Schools of statistical thoughts […]The post On deck this week appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, […]
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11:03 AM | PAP: March 2014
Is our attractiveness influenced by the rugs on our floors or the art on our walls? Are we more jealous when we're surrounded by people of the same or opposite sex? And we discover why younger fathers have better looking kids. Download the MP3Are people more attractive if they are photographed in a luxury apartment, rather than a standard $40 a week rat-hole with no functioning internet? New research by Michael Dunn of Cardiff Metropolitan University suggests the answer is yes: but only if […]

April 06, 2014

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4:52 PM | The selling out diaries: Surprising sources of pressure
I’m a behavioral scientist, pretty lefty, and I currently do research for a major media corporation. I predicted before taking on this job that I would feel some pressure to drift from deeper questions about society towards “business school” questions — questions that are less about human behavior and more about consumer behavior. What I […]
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1:15 PM | An old discussion of food deserts
I happened to be reading an old comment thread from 2012 (follow the link from here) and came across this amusing exchange: Perhaps this is the paper Jonathan was talking about? Here’s more from the thread: Anyway, I don’t have anything to add right now, I just thought it was an interesting discussion.The post An old discussion of food deserts appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

April 05, 2014

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1:09 PM | Bizarre academic spam
I’ve been getting these sorts of emails every couple days lately: Respected Professor Gelman I am a senior undergraduate at Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IIT Kanpur). I am currently in the 8th Semester of my Master of Science (Integrated) in Mathematics and Scientific Computing program. I went through some of your previous work and […]The post Bizarre academic spam appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

April 04, 2014

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7:27 PM | I was going to criticize this on blog but I’m just too tired of things like this. What’s really horrible is the news article which takes all this so seriously. My problem is not with people who run regressions and post them on the web—the more the merrier, I say—but with reputable news outlets whose editors should know better
A friend pointed me to this monstrosity. As an MIT grad, I’d like to think that Technology Review could do better. To elaborate a bit: A one-paragraph blurb would be fine to me, you can report that someone ran some regressions on the GSS and came up with an amusing hypothesis. That’s enough, then move […]The post I was going to criticize this on blog but I’m just too tired of things like this. What’s really horrible is the news article which takes all this so […]
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3:58 PM | Network Science and Expeditionary Economics
#NetworkScience In 2011, the United States Military Academy at West Point Social Sciences Department held its annual Senior Conference on Expeditionary Economics, which highlighted the military’s leading role in economic development, since post-conflict environments are initially too dangerous for U.S. … Continue reading →
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1:44 PM | The Notorious N.H.S.T. presents: Mo P-values Mo Problems
A recent discussion between commenters Question and Fernando captured one of the recurrent themes here from the past year. Question: The problem is simple, the researchers are disproving always false null hypotheses and taking this disproof as near proof that their theory is correct. Fernando: Whereas it is probably true that researchers misuse NHT, the […]The post The Notorious N.H.S.T. presents: Mo P-values Mo Problems appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and […]
Editor's Pick
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1:17 PM | Why Do We Take Personality Tests?
I often get questions from friends and family that they would like answered in a post. This month, my post is inspired by a question from my grandmother. Kudos to my grandma for asking a question about a popular trend on the internet! […]

Gollwitzer, P. M. & Kirchhof, O. (1998). The Willful Pursuit of Identity, J. Heckhausen & C. S. Dweck (Eds.), Life-span perspectives on motivation and control., 389-423. Other: Link

Swann, W. B. (2012). Self-verification theory, In P. Van Lang, A. Kruglanski, & E.T. Higgins (Eds.) Handbook of Theories of Social Psychology,, 23-42. Other: Link

Citation
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11:48 AM | Russia, a patchwork of states, fears being torn apart
“Ukraine is not only important for Russia – it is historically a constitutive part of Russia.” Russia’s behaviour in Ukraine and the Caucasus demonstrates its fears about being dismantled and...
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4:21 AM | Pelaajabarometri 2013: Mobiilipelaamisen nousu
Pelaajabarometrissa uutta tietoa pelaamisen muutossuunnista Nyt julkaistu, vuoden 2013 aikana kerättyä aineistoa raportoiva uusin Pelaajabarometri kertoo pelaamisen suosion kokonaisuudessaan pysyneen ennallaan. Jos huomioidaan kaikki erilaiset pelimuodot ja satunnainenkin pelaaminen lähes jokainen suomalainen pelaa ainakin jotakin. Aktiivisia, vähintään kerran kuukaudessa jotain … Continue reading →
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12:56 AM | Assisted Suicide Comes to "Girls"
On the season finale of HBO’s “Girls” last month, an ailing photographer named Beadie, played by the inimitable Louise Lasser in a wheelchair, asks Jessa to help her die. It was daring of Lena Dunham, the show’s writer and creator, to introduce this particular plot twist, since assisted suicide is one of the subjects that American television shows steadily avoid.read more

April 03, 2014

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1:28 PM | As the boldest experiment in journalism history, you admit you made a mistake
The pre-NYT David Brooks liked to make fun of the NYT. Here’s one from 1997: I’m not sure I’d like to be one of the people featured on the New York Times wedding page, but I know I’d like to be the father of one of them. Imagine how happy Stanley J. Kogan must have […]The post As the boldest experiment in journalism history, you admit you made a mistake appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

April 02, 2014

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9:11 PM | The Psychology of Economic Inequality: A Collection
Today I wrote an op-ed piece for livescience about economic inequality. Read the piece here. In it, I argue that though economic inequality is a complex social and political issue, it may be explained, at least in part, in terms of the basic psychological motivations of individuals.Anyway, I hope you'll check out the piece and send me comments via twitter (@mwkraus). If you'd like to read more about this area of research, below I have collected four past PYM pieces on the topic.Read More->
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5:57 PM | The Missing Link that Wasn’t
April Fools’ Day is not unique to Western cultures. People all over the world and all throughout history have celebrated the coming of Spring with festivals of deception and lightheartedness.... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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5:57 PM | The Missing Link that Wasn’t
April Fools’ Day is not unique to Western cultures. People all over the world and all throughout history have celebrated the coming of Spring with festivals of deception and lightheartedness.... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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1:30 PM | Free Gamification of Human Resources Webinar Coming April 15
On April 15 at 1PM EDT, I will be giving a webinar on gamification for the Human Capital Institute.  If you’re interested in what science says about how gamification and videogames can improve HR processes, you’ll want to be there.  Registration is free, but you’ll need to sign up for a free account on the […]Related articles from NeoAcademic:Is I/O Psychology Ruining Human Resources?Gamification, Social Media, Mobile, and MTurk SIOP 2014 TNTLab […]
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