The Puzzle of Paul Meehl: An intellectual history of research criticism in psychology

May 6, 2016
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The Puzzle of Paul Meehl:  An intellectual history of research criticism in psychology

There’s nothing wrong with Meehl. He’s great. The puzzle of Paul Meehl is that everything we’re saying now, all this stuff about the problems with Psychological Science and PPNAS and Ted talks and all that, Paul Meehl was saying 50 years ago. And it was no secret. So how is it that all this was […] The post The Puzzle of Paul Meehl: An intellectual history of research criticism in…

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I’m really getting tired of this sort of thing, and I don’t feel like scheduling it for September, so I’ll post it at 1 in the morning

May 6, 2016
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A couple days ago I received an email: I’m a reporter for *** [newspaper], currently looking into a fun article about a recent study, and my old professor *** recommended I get in touch with you to see if you would give me a comment on the statistics in the study. It’s a bit of […] The post I’m really getting tired of this sort of thing, and I don’t…

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Bummer! NPR bites on air rage study.

May 5, 2016
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Bummer!  NPR bites on air rage study.

OK, here’s the story. A couple days ago, regarding the now-notorious PPNAS article, “Physical and situational inequality on airplanes predicts air rage,” I wrote: NPR will love this paper. It directly targets their demographic of people who are rich enough to fly a lot but not rich enough to fly first class, and who think […] The post Bummer! NPR bites on air rage study. appeared first on Statistical Modeling,…

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a Simpson paradox of sorts

May 5, 2016
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a Simpson paradox of sorts

The riddle from The Riddler this week is about finding an undirected graph with N nodes and no isolated node such that the number of nodes with more connections than the average of their neighbours is maximal. A representation of a connected graph is through a matrix X of zeros and ones, on which one […]

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Probability is hard

May 5, 2016
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Probability is hard

For more than a month, my colleague Sanjoy Mahajan and I have been banging our heads on a series of problems related to conditional probability and Bayesian statistics.  We knew when we started that this material is tricky, as demonstrated by veri...

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MTurk IDs Are Not Anonymous

May 5, 2016
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MTurk IDs Are Not Anonymous

The worker IDs Amazon’s Mechanical Turk gives you may look pretty random and anonymous, but they can reveal personally-identifiable information. They need to be removed from datasets, especially when they are shared or published. Like many things, I learned this the hard way. Or I would have, had Steve Haroz not caught it in the data … Continue reading MTurk IDs Are Not Anonymous

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vtreat cross frames

May 5, 2016
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vtreat cross frames

vtreat cross frames John Mount, Nina Zumel 2016-05-05 As a follow on to “On Nested Models” we work R examples demonstrating “cross validated training frames” (or “cross frames”) in vtreat. Consider the following data frame. The outcome only depends on the “good” variables, not on the (high degree of freedom) “bad” variables. Modeling such a … Continue reading vtreat cross frames

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“Null hypothesis” = “A specific random number generator”

May 5, 2016
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In an otherwise pointless comment thread the other day, Dan Lakeland contributed the following gem: A p-value is the probability of seeing data as extreme or more extreme than the result, under the assumption that the result was produced by a specific random number generator (called the null hypothesis). I could care less about p-values […] The post “Null hypothesis” = “A specific random number generator” appeared first on Statistical…

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"Nonparametric Estimation and Comparison for Networks" (Friday at U. Washington)

May 5, 2016
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Attention conservation notice:: An academic promoting his own talk. Even if you can get past that, only of interest if you (1) care about statistical methods for comparing network data sets, and (2) will be in Seattle on Friday. Since the coin came ...

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Unsung Hero: NBER Conference on Research in Income and Wealth

May 5, 2016
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Here's to the the NBER's ongoing Conference on Research in Income and Wealth (CRIW), unsung hero, home of down-and-dirty measurement mavens since 1935.  Yes, since 1935!  Check out Chuck Holten's fascinating CRIW description in the NBER ...

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Time Series Analysis in Biomedical Science – What You Really Need to Know

May 5, 2016
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Time Series Analysis in Biomedical Science – What You Really Need to Know

For a few years now I have given a guest lecture on time series analysis in our School’s Environmental Epidemiology course. The basic thrust of this lecture is that you should generally ignore what you read about time series modeling, either in paper...

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My Latest Paper About Dummy Variables

May 4, 2016
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My Latest Paper About Dummy Variables

Over the years I've posted a number of times about various aspects of using dummy variables in regression models. You can use the "Search" window in the right sidebar of this page if want to take a look at those posts.One of my earlier working papers o...

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Next Step in OGD Websites

May 4, 2016
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Next Step in OGD Websites

What DataUsa is doing could be – I guess – the next step in the evolution of Open Government Data websites. It’s the step from offering file downloads to presenting data (and not files) interactively. And it’s a kind of presentation many official statistical websites would surely be proud of. César A. Hidalgo from MIT discusses … Continue reading Next Step in OGD Websites

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A template for future news stories about scientific breakthroughs

May 4, 2016
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A template for future news stories about scientific breakthroughs

Yesterday, in the context of a post about news media puffery of the latest three-headed monstrosity to come out of PPNAS, I promised you a solution. I wrote: OK, fine, you might say. But what’s a reporter to do? They can’t always call Andrew Gelman at Columbia University for a quote, and they typically won’t […] The post A template for future news stories about scientific breakthroughs appeared first on…

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Create a package in SAS/IML

May 4, 2016
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Create a package in SAS/IML

In a previous post I showed how to download, install, and use packages in SAS/IML 14.1. SAS/IML packages incorporate source files, documentation, data sets, and sample programs into a ZIP file. The PACKAGE statement enables you to install, uninstall, and manage packages. You can load functions and data into your […] The post Create a package in SAS/IML appeared first on The DO Loop.

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Books to Read While the Algae Grow in Your Fur, March 2016

May 4, 2016
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Attention conservation notice: I have no taste. Guido W. Imbens and Donald B. Rubin, Causal Inference for Statistics, Social, and Biomedical Sciences: An Introduction While I found less to disagree with about the over-all approach than I anticipated...

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"Network Comparisons Using Sample Splitting"

May 4, 2016
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My fifth Ph.D. student is defending his thesis towards the end of the month: Lawrence Wang, Network Comparisons Using Sample Splitting Abstract: Many scientific questions about networks are actually network comparison problems: Could two networks ha...

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"Partitioning a Large Simulation as It Runs" (Next Week at the Statistics Seminar)

May 4, 2016
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Attention conservation notice: Only of interest if you (1) care about running large simulations which are actually good for something, and (2) will be in Pittsburgh on Tuesday. Kary Myers, "Partitioning a Large Simulation as It Runs" (Technometrics ...

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PPNAS: How does it happen? And happen? And happen? And happen?

May 4, 2016
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PPNAS:  How does it happen?  And happen?  And happen?  And happen?

In the comment thread to today’s post on journalists who take PPNAS papers at face value, Mark asked, in response to various flaws pointed out in one of these papers: How can the authors (and the reviewers and the editor) not be aware of something so elementary? My reply: Regarding the authors, see here. Statistics […] The post PPNAS: How does it happen? And happen? And happen? And happen? appeared…

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Not So Standard Deviations Episode 15 – Spinning Up Logistics

May 4, 2016
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This is Hilary’s and my last New York-Baltimore episode! In future episodes, Hilary will be broadcasting from California. In this episode we discuss collaboration tools and workflow management for data science projects. To date, I have not found a pr...

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No, Bayesians don’t think all parameters are random

May 3, 2016
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Pretty regularly – usually in the middle of one of those interminable fixed-vs-random effects discussions – someone will pipe up that “Of course, for Bayesians this random vs fixed effect distinction makes no sense because all parameters are random”. To the extent it can be made to make sense, the claim is false. It’s also […]

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Stats can’t make modeling decisions

May 3, 2016
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Stats can’t make modeling decisions

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...

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Journalists are suckers for anything that looks like science. And selection bias makes it even worse. But I was unfair to NPR.

May 3, 2016
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Journalists are suckers for anything that looks like science.  And selection bias makes it even worse.  But I was unfair to NPR.

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 suckers for anything that looks like science. And selection bias…

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