Posts

November 05, 2014

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2:29 PM | “The Firth bias correction, penalization, and weakly informative priors: A case for log-F priors in logistic and related regressions”
Sander Greenland sent me this paper that he wrote with Mohammad Ali Mansournia, which discusses possible penalty functions for penalized maximum likelihood or, equivalently, possible prior distributions for Bayesian posterior mode estimation, in the context of logistic regression. Greenland and Mansournia write: We consider some questions that arise when considering alternative penalties . . . […] The post “The Firth bias correction, penalization, and weakly informative priors: A […]

November 04, 2014

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2:06 PM | Social research is not the same as health research: Macartan Humphreys gives new guidelines for ethics in social science research
In reaction to the recent controversy about a research project that interfered with an election in Montana, political scientist Macartan Humphreys shares some excellent ideas on how to think about ethics in social science research: Social science researchers rely on principles developed by health researchers that do not always do the work asked of them […] The post Social research is not the same as health research: Macartan Humphreys gives new guidelines for ethics in social science […]
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1:21 PM | Three invited talks
I will be giving three invited talks on games and culture this week: the keynote on games, pervasive play and health in Pelaten terveeks conference in Jyväskylä, tomorrow, 5th November; more at: http://www.jamk.fi/fi/Tapahtumat/pelaten-terveeks-konferenssi/ in Thursday I will be giving two talks in … Continue reading →

November 03, 2014

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3:38 PM | My talk today at the University of Michigan, 4pm at the Institute for Social Research
Generalizing from sample to population Andrew Gelman, Department of Statistics, Columbia University We’ve been hearing a lot about “data” recently, but data are generally a means to an end, with the goal being to learn about some population of interest. How do we generalize from sample to population? The process seems a bit mysterious, especially […] The post My talk today at the University of Michigan, 4pm at the Institute for Social Research appeared first on […]
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3:00 PM | On deck this week
Mon: My talk today at the University of Michigan, 4pm at the Institute for Social Research Tues: Social research is not the same as health research: Macartan Humphreys gives new guidelines for ethics in social science research Wed: “The Firth bias correction, penalization, and weakly informative priors: A case for log-F priors in logistic and […] The post On deck this week appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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2:00 PM | On deck this month
My talk today at the University of Michigan, 4pm at the Institute for Social Research Social research is not the same as health research: Macartan Humphreys gives new guidelines for ethics in social science research “The Firth bias correction, penalization, and weakly informative priors: A case for log-F priors in logistic and related regressions” I’m […] The post On deck this month appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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12:30 PM | Hockett on arbitrariness and iconicity
Charles Hockett had interesting views on the relation between iconicity and arbitrariness. Here is a key quote: The difference of dimensionality means that signages1 can be iconic to an extent to which languages cannot; and they are, even though, as Frishberg (1975) tells … Continue reading →

November 02, 2014

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2:24 PM | Ray Could Write
Now he is scattered among a hundred cities And wholly given over to unfamiliar affections, To find his happiness in another kind of wood And be punished under a foreign code of conscience. . . . You were silly like us; your gift survived it all: For chess makes nothing happen: it survives In the […] The post Ray Could Write appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

November 01, 2014

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3:58 PM | This is where they publish the stuff that can’t make it into Psychological Science
N=22 (link from here and here). I was unhappy to see that the two news articles took the study at face value. Photoplethysmograph, indeed. As Daniel Kahneman might say, “You have no choice but to accept that the major conclusions of these studies are true.” Not. The post This is where they publish the stuff that can’t make it into Psychological Science appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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3:06 AM | A Montana resident just sent me this
He got it in the mail and writes, “I don’t recall receiving the original mailer, but I probably would have just tossed it with the rest of the election mail I was getting.” P.S. Wouldn’t it be funny if this letter was actually sent from someone in the political science department at Montana State University, […] The post A Montana resident just sent me this appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

October 31, 2014

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9:48 PM | Dark Pits of Disease: Mining’s History of Hookworm
Mining is low on the list of enviable occupations. The hazards one faces when plying one of humanity’s most ancient professions, burrowing deep into the earth to harvest its hidden treasures in the form of precious stones and metals, range from grungy to downright gruesome. The occupation is widely considered to be one of the […]The post Dark Pits of Disease: Mining’s History of Hookworm appeared first on Body Horrors.
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1:36 PM | Boo! Who’s afraid of availability bias?
Just in time for Halloween: I came across this 2-minute video by Brian Zikmund-Fisher, a professor of Health Behavior and Health Education at the University of Michigan, and I took a look because I was curious what he had to say. The video is called “Why aren’t we more scared of measles?” and has the […] The post Boo! Who’s afraid of availability bias? appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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9:54 AM | International students think Finland is the best country to study in Europe
Information gathered by the StudyPortals website in the Netherlands shows that international students think Finland is the best country to study in Europe. The University of Tampere scored 9 out...

October 30, 2014

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1:18 PM | Was it really necessary to do a voting experiment on 300,000 people? Maybe 299,999 would’ve been enough? Or 299,998? Or maybe 2000?
There’s been some discussion recently about an experiment done in Montana, New Hampshire, and California, conducted by three young political science professors, in which letters were sent to 300,000 people, in order to (possibly) affect their voting behavior. It appears that the plan was to follow up after the elections and track voter turnout. (Some […] The post Was it really necessary to do a voting experiment on 300,000 people? Maybe 299,999 would’ve been enough? Or […]
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8:41 AM | Gaze-cueing and trustworthiness: New paper + raw data + R script on OSF
Recently, a student of mine (Felix Süßenbach, now at the University of Edinburgh) and I published a little study on gaze-cueing, and how it is moderated by the trustworthiness of the gazing person. In a nutshell, although instructed to ignore the gaze, participants shifted their attention into the direction where another person looked at (–> […]
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12:21 AM | Statistical distribution of incomes in different countries, and a great plot
This post is by Phil Price. This article in the New York Times is pretty good, and the graphics are excellent…especially the interactive graphic halfway down, entitled “American Incomes Are Losing Their Edge, Except at the Top” (try mousing over the gray lines and see what happens). The plot attempts to display the statistical distribution […] The post Statistical distribution of incomes in different countries, and a great plot appeared first on Statistical Modeling, […]

October 29, 2014

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1:46 PM | I love it when I can respond to a question with a single link
Shira writes: This came up from trying to help a colleague of mine at Human Rights Watch. He has several completely observed variables X, and a variable with 29% missing, Y. He wants a histogram (and other descriptive statistics) of a “filled in” Y. He can regress Y on X, and impute missing Y’s from […] The post I love it when I can respond to a question with a single link appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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1:30 PM | How to Improve Internet Comments
The most promising and yet most disappointing aspects of the Internet are the written comments left by the general public.  On one hand, comment sections are a great democratization of personal opinion.  With public commenting, anyone can make their opinion known until the world on whatever topic interests them.  On the other hand, comment sections give voice to absolutely […]The post How to Improve Internet Comments appeared first on […]
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2:57 AM | Body-slam on the sister blog
John Ahlquist and Scott Gehlbach nail it. The post Body-slam on the sister blog appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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2:26 AM | Everyone Gets a Job!
A terrifying graph for any PhD student! (source)It's late October and that means we are squarely in the middle of job season for psychology PhDs (and PhD candidates). I was hired during the 2011-2012 job cycle, and so I recently switched to the evaluation side of the job process. Sitting on this side of the fence I feel incredibly fortunate to have a job: There are a ton of accomplished graduate students and postdocs with strong records, interesting research ideas, and stellar (!!!) letters of […]

October 28, 2014

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11:28 PM | October 2014: Is blonde hair attractive because it's rare?
Is blonde and red hair attractive because of how it looks, or because it’s rare? Also, “my genes made me do it”: can men (or women) blame their cheating ways on their genetic inheritance? And we also continue last month’s foray into the murky world of mate-poaching, and discover the differences between the sexes when it comes to detecting potential partner pilferers.Download the MP3Some have theorised that red and blonde hair is attractive because it is rare. New […]
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1:46 PM | Yes, I’ll help people for free but not like this!
I received the following (unsolicited) email: Dear Sir or Madam, My name is **; I am a graduate student, working on my thesis in **. A vital part of my research is performing a joint cluster analysis of attributional and relational data on **. I have tried to collaborate with the statisticians at ** and […] The post Yes, I’ll help people for free but not like this! appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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4:41 AM | And sometimes they don’t spam you at all
I received the following email: Dear Dr. Gelman, As a way of introduction, my name is . . . and I am very interested in studying in Columbia’s PhD statistics program. For the past 2 ½ years, I’ve worked as an analyst for . . . I am writing to communicate my interest in your […] The post And sometimes they don’t spam you at all appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

October 27, 2014

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3:02 PM | 2 on chess
Is it really “often easier to win a rematch than to defend a championship”? The quoted bit above comes from Tyler Cowen, writing about the Anand/Carlsen world championship rematch. I’m still not used to the idea of a new world championship match every year but I guess why not? Anyway, here’s my question. Tyler Cowen […] The post 2 on chess appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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1:00 PM | On deck this week
Mon: 2 on chess Tues: Yes, I’ll help people for free but not like this! Wed: I love it when I can respond to a question with a single link Thurs: Boo! Who’s afraid of availability bias? Fri: This is where they publish the stuff that’s can’t make it into Psychological Science Sat: Ray Could […] The post On deck this week appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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11:13 AM | Temporary migration between Europe and Asia is on the rise
Due to work, study and personal reasons, temporary migration between Europe and Asia is growing, and increasingly mobility is happening in both directions. The EURA-NET project brings together researchers from...

October 26, 2014

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1:22 PM | Solution to the sample-allocation problem
See this recent post for background. Here’s the question: You are designing an experiment where you are estimating a linear dose-response pattern with a dose that x can take on the values 1, 2, 3, and the response is continuous. Suppose that there is no systematic error and that the measurement variance is proportional to x. You […] The post Solution to the sample-allocation problem appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

October 25, 2014

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1:19 PM | Solution to the problem on the distribution of p-values
See this recent post for background. Here’s the question: It is sometimes said that the p-value is uniformly distributed if the null hypothesis is true. Give two different reasons why this statement is not in general true. The problem is with real examples, not just toy examples, so your reasons should not involve degenerate situations such as […] The post Solution to the problem on the distribution of p-values appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and […]

October 24, 2014

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8:01 PM | Flowers, Fungi & Felines: An Unusual Epidemic in Brazil
Rose-thorn disease sounds like a malady of lovesick teenagers, an illness of romance reserved for budding Romeos and Juliets swooning from their first forays into passion and lovesickness, an affliction arising from the shocking stick and sting of heartbreak. The sweet name of this malady, however, in no way belies the actual crustiness of its […]The post Flowers, Fungi & Felines: An Unusual Epidemic in Brazil appeared first on Body Horrors.
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1:14 PM | Solution to the helicopter design problem
See yesterday’s post for background. Here’s the question: In the helicopter activity, pairs of students design paper ”helicopters” and compete to create the copter that takes longest to reach the ground when dropped from a fixed height. The two parameters of the helicopter, a and b, correspond to the length of certain cuts in the […] The post Solution to the helicopter design problem appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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