Here's a question that appeared recently on the Reddit statistics forum:If effect sizes of coefficient are really small, can you interpret as no relationship? Coefficients are very significant, which is expected with my large dataset. But coeffic...

Journalists are suckers. Marks. Vics. Boobs. Rubes. You get the picture. Where are the classically street-trained reporters, the descendants of Ring Lardner and Joe Liebling, the hard-bitten journos who would laugh in the face of a press release? Today, nowhere in evidence. I’m speaking, of course, about the reaction in the press to the latest […] The post Journalists are…

One of the most common tasks in statistical computing is computation of sample variance. This would seem to be straightforward; there are a number of algebraically equivalent ways of representing the sum of squares \(S\), such as \[ S = \sum_{k=1}^n (...

To busy readers: Skip to the tl;dr summary at the end of this post. A psychology researcher sent me an email with subject line, “There’s a hell of a paper coming out in PPNAS today.” He sent me a copy of the paper, “Physical and situational inequality on airplanes predicts air rage,” by Katherine DeCelles […] The post Ahhhh, PPNAS!…

We’ve turned the understanding of charts into formulas instead of encouraging people to think and ask questions. That doesn’t produce better charts, it just gives people ways of feeling superior by parroting something about chart junk or 3D being bad. There is little to no research to back these things up. The Trivapro 3D Bar Chart This 3D … Continue reading 3D Bar…

Some of the discussion of yesterday’s post reminded me of a wonderful bit from Life on the Mississippi: When I was a boy, there was but one permanent ambition among my comrades in our village on the west bank of the Mississippi River. That was, to be a steamboatman. We had transient ambitions of other […] The post Macassar appeared…

Paul Alper points to this news article by Susan Perry: Probiotics have been overhyped and rely on ‘shaky’ science, reporter finds Although some of these studies’ results may be promising, they aren’t strong enough to support the long list of claims currently being made by the manufacturers of probiotic products. . . . Perry links […] The post Are you…

Mon: Are you pro or anti-biotics? Tues: “Null hypothesis” = “A specific random number generator” Wed: No guarantee Thurs: The Puzzle of Paul Meehl: An intellectual history of research criticism in psychology Fri: Redemption Sat: Doing dat...

When I read Robert Allison's article about the cost of a taxi ride in New York City, I was struck by the scatter plot (shown at right; click to enlarge) that plots the tip amount against the total bill for 12 million taxi rides. The graph clearly reveals diagonal and […] The post How much do New Yorkers tip taxi…

imager, an R package for image processing, has been updated to v0.20 on CRAN. It’s a major upgrade with a lot of new features, better documentation and a more consistent API. imager now has 130 functions, and I myself keep forgetting all that’s in there. I’ve added a tutorial vignette that should help you get […]

One hallmark of a great idea is that it's "obvious" (ex post). Fantastic recent work by Bollerslev, Patton, and Quaedvlieg (BPQ) certainly passes that test. BPQ build on the classic Barndorff-Nielsen and Shephard result that the precision with which r...

Under the heading, “Why that Evolution paper should never have been retracted: A reviewer speaks out,” biologist Ben Ashby writes: The problems of post-publication peer review have already been highlighted elsewhere, and it certainly isn’t rare for a paper to be retracted due to an honest mistake (although most retractions are due to misconduct). Moreover, […] The post No Retractions,…

Joe Simmons and Uri Simonsohn have an interesting post here. Unfortunately their blog doesn’t have a comment section so I’m commenting here. They write this at the end of their post: Another is to use daily dummies. This option can easily be worse. It can lower statistical power by throwing away data. First, one can […] The post Controlling for…

Saw a couple of plays, both excellent. Fun Home. Compared to what I remembered of the book (which I also thought was excellent), the play seemed to be more about her family and less about Bechdel herself. But that worked for me. Bechdel’s story won’t be shared by everybody, but we all have families. The […] The post Some folks…

Following up on yesterday’s post on mortality trends, I wanted to share with you a research note by actuary Gary Venter, “A Quick Look at Cohort Effects in US Male Mortality.” Venter produces this graph: And he writes: Cohort effects in mortality tend to be difficult to explain. Often strings of coincidences are invoked – […] The post Gary Venter’s…

Tom Churcher writes: We are currently advertising for an infectious disease modeller to investigate the impact of insecticide resistance on malaria control in Africa. The position is for 3 years in the first instance and is funded by the Wellcome Trust. No previous malaria or mosi experience required. Please circulate to anyone who might be […] The post Lots of…

A riddle from The Riddler where brute-force simulation does not pay: For a given integer N, pick at random without replacement integers between 1 and N by prohibiting consecutive integers until all possible entries are exhausted. What is the frequency of selected integers as N grows to infinity? A simple implementation of the random experiment […]

Discussion of statistical graphics typically focuses on individual graphs (for example here). But the real gain in your research comes from integrating graphs into your workflow. You want to be able to make the graphs you want, when you want them. At the same time, the graph have to be good enough that you can […] The post Integrating graphs…

E. J. pointed me to this announcement: For the first time since his retirement in 2005 Garry Kasparov will play chess against some of the best players on the planet. The 13th world champion agreed to meet the top three finishers of the 2016 U.S. Championship in a blitz tournament. That turned out to be […] The post “Kasparov To…