Blog Profile / Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science

Filed Under:Academics / Mathematics
Posts on Regator:4034
Posts / Week:10.5
Archived Since:October 26, 2010

Blog Post Archive

Important statistical theory research project! Perfect for the stat grad students (or ambitious undergrads) out there.

Hey kids! Time to think about writing that statistics Ph.D. thesis. It would be great to write something on a cool applied project, but: (a) you might not be connected to a cool applied project, and you typically can’t do these on your...Show More Summary

Information flows both ways (Martian conspiracy theory edition)

A topic that arises from time to time in Bayesian statistics is the desire of analysts to propagate information in one direction, with no backwash, as it were. But the logic of Bayesian inference doesn’t work that way. If A and B are...Show More Summary

My talk this Wednesday at Stanford business school

It’s in the Organizational Behavior Seminar, Wed 7 Mar at noon in room E247: Toward replicable research in the human sciences: How can we get from where we are, to where we want to be? We’ve heard a lot about the replication crisis in science. Show More Summary

No, I don’t believe that “Reduction in Firearm Injuries during NRA Annual Conventions” story

David Palmer writes: If you need yet another study to look at, check this out: “Reduction in Firearm Injuries during NRA Annual Conventions.” The post No, I don’t believe that “Reduction in Firearm Injuries during NRA Annual Conventions” story appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

Who’s afraid of prediction markets? (Hanson vs. Thicke)

In a post entitled, “Compare Institutions To Institutions, Not To Perfection,” Robin Hanson slams a recent paper by Michael Thicke that criticizes prediction markets. Hanson summarizes: Unfortunately many responses to reform proposals...Show More Summary

Concerns about Brian Wansink’s claims and research methods have been known for years

1. The king and his memory There’s this stunning passage near the end of Josephine Tey’s classic The Daughter of Time. Most of the book is taken up with the main characters laboriously discovering the evidence that Richard III was not really a bad guy, he didn’t really kill those little princes, etc. Show More Summary

Bayes for estimating a small effect in the context of large variation

Shira Mitchell and Mariel Finucane, two statisticians at Mathematica Policy Research (that’s the policy-analysis organization, not the Wolfram software company) write: We here at Mathematica have questions about priors for a health policy evaluation. Show More Summary

Audition (Fools Who Explore)

This story inspired me to very slightly alter the Hurwitz, Pasek, and Paul classic: My aunt used to work in a lab I remember, she used to come home and tell us these stories about being abroad And I remember she told us that she jumped...Show More Summary

What prior to use for item-response parameters?

Joshua Pritkin writes: There is a Stan case study by Daniel Furr on a hierarchical two-parameter logistic item response model. My question is whether to model the covariance between log alpha and beta parameters. I asked Daniel FurrShow More Summary

I fear that many people are drawing the wrong lessons from the Wansink saga, focusing on procedural issues such as “p-hacking” rather than scientifically more important concerns about empty theory and hopelessly noisy data. If your theory is weak and your

This came up in the discussion of yesterday’s post. We’ve discussed theory and measurement in this space before. And here’s a discussion of how the problems of selection bias are magnified when measurements are noisy. Forking paths and...Show More Summary

Pizzagate: The problem’s not with the multiple analyses, it’s with the selective reporting of results (and with low-quality measurements and lack of quality control all over, but that’s not the key part of the story)

“I don’t think I’ve ever done an interesting study where the data ‘came out’ the first time I looked at it.” — Brian Wansink The funny thing is, I don’t think this quote is so bad. Nothing comes out right the first time for me either!...Show More Summary

I’ll use this line in my talk this Wednesday at the Society for Research on Educational Effectivness

I had a conversation with a policy analyst about the design of studies for program evaluation—the post is scheduled to appear in a few months—and he expressed some frustration: The idea of evidence based policy has put a gun to our heads...Show More Summary

The p-curve, p-uniform, and Hedges (1984) methods for meta-analysis under selection bias: An exchange with Blake McShane and Uri Simosohn

Blake McShane sent me some material related to a paper of his (McShane et al., 2016; see reference list below), regarding various methods for combining p-values for meta-analysis under selection bias. His remarks related to some things written by Uri Simonsohn and his colleagues, so I cc-ed Uri on the correspondence. Show More Summary

Big Oregano strikes again

Paul Alper writes: You recall the University of Maryland chocolate milk cure for concussion [Bigmilk Strikes Again]. A new version of the same sloppiness is discussed here. Alper is linking to a news article, “University of Iowa ignores...Show More Summary

Rasmussen and Williams never said that Gaussian processes resolve the problem of overfitting

Apparently there’s an idea out there that Bayesian inference with Gaussian processes automatically avoids overfitting. But no, you can still overfit. To be precise, Bayesian inference by design avoids overfitting—if the evaluation is performed by averaging over the prior distribution. Show More Summary

Anybody want a drink before the war?

Your lallies look like darts, and you’ve got nanti carts, but I love your bona eke – Lee Sutton (A near miss) I’ve been thinking about gayface again. I guess this is for a bunch of reasons, but one of the lesser ones is that this breathless article by...Show More Summary

“If I wanted to graduate in three years, I’d just get a sociology degree.”

From an interview with a UCLA QB who’s majoring in economics: Look, football and school don’t go together. They just don’t. Trying to do both is like trying to do two full-time jobs.... No one in their right mind should have a football player’s schedule, and go to school. Show More Summary

“Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?” and “The Narcissism Epidemic”: How can we think about the evidence?

Jay Livingston points to this hypey article, “Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?”, by Jean Twenge, who writes: I’ve been researching generational differences for 25 years... Typically, the characteristics that come to define a generation appear gradually, and along a continuum.... Show More Summary

“Deeper into democracy: the legitimacy of challenging Brexit’s majoritarian mandate”

There’s no reason that we should trust someone’s thoughts on politics just because he’s a good chess player, or even a good writer. That said, I found this opinion piece by Jonathan Rowson on Britain and the EU to be worth reading. Also...Show More Summary

Zoologist slams statistical significance

Valentin Amrhein writes that statistical significance and hypothesis testing are not really helpful when it comes to testing our hypotheses. I’m not quite sure I like the title of Amrhein’s post—“Inferential Statistics is not Inferential”—as I think of parameter estimation, model checking, forecasting, etc., all as forms of inference. Show More Summary

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