Do regression structures affect research capital? The case of pronoun drop

A linguist pointed me with incredulity to this article by Horst Feldmann, “Do Linguistic Structures Affect Human Capital? The Case of Pronoun Drop,” which begins: This paper empirically studies the human capital effects of grammatical rules that permit speakers to drop a personal pronoun when used as a subject of a sentence. By de‐emphasizing the […]

Post-Hoc Power PubPeer Dumpster Fire

We’ve discussed this one before (original, polite response here; later response, after months of frustration, here), but it keeps on coming. Latest version is this disaster of a paper which got shredded by a zillion commenters on PubPeer. There’s lots of incompetent stuff out there in the literature—that’s the way things go; statistics is hard—but, […]


A very interesting piece about prison abolition in the NYT. Centering on Ruth Wilson Gilmore an US advocate for the abolition of prison sentences and a geographer at Berkeley. Interesting because the very notion of abolition sounds anathema to many and I rarely meet people sharing the conviction that prison sentences are counter-productive, often in […]

Olivia Goldhill and Jesse Singal report on the Implicit Association Test

A psychology researcher whom I don’t know writes: In case you aren’t already aware of it, here is a rather lengthy article pointing out challenges to the Implicit Association Test. What I found disturbing was this paragraph: Greenwald explicitly discouraged me from writing this article. ‘Debates about scientific interpretation belong in scientific journals, not popular […]

MCMC importance samplers for intractable likelihoods

Jordan Franks just posted on arXiv his PhD dissertation at the University of Jyväskylä, where he discuses several of his works: M. Vihola, J. Helske, and J. Franks. Importance sampling type estimators based on approximate marginal MCMC. Preprint arXiv:1609.02541v5, 2016. J. Franks and M. Vihola. Importance sampling correction versus standard averages of reversible MCMCs in […]

A thought on Bayesian workflow: calculating a likelihood ratio for data compared to peak likelihood.

Daniel Lakeland writes: Ok, so it’s really deep into the comments and I’m guessing there’s a chance you will miss it so I wanted to point at my comments here and here. In particular, the second one, which suggests something that it might be useful to recommend for Bayesian workflows: calculating a likelihood ratio for […]

PhD studenships at Warwick

There is an exciting opening for several PhD positions at Warwick, in the departments of Statistics and of Mathematics, as part of the Centre for Doctoral Training in Mathematics and Statistics newly created by the University. CDT studentships are funded for four years and funding is open to students from the European Union without restrictions. […]

did variational Bayes work?

An interesting ICML 2018 paper by Yuling Yao, Aki Vehtari, Daniel Simpson, and Andrew Gelman I missed last summer on [the fairly important issue of] assessing the quality or lack thereof of a variational Bayes approximation. In the sense of being near enough from the true posterior. The criterion that they propose in this paper […]


So. I noticed my rear brake wasn’t really doing anything. If I squeezed really hard, I could slow down, but not enough to stop going down a steep hill. No big deal—it’s the front brake that really matters, right?—but just for safety’s sake I went to the bike store one day and they replaced the […]

“Boosting intelligence analysts’ judgment accuracy: What works, what fails?”

Kevin Lewis points us to this research article by David Mandel, Christopher Karvetski, and Mandeep Dhami, which begins: A routine part of intelligence analysis is judging the probability of alternative hypotheses given available evidence. Intelligence organizations advise analysts to use intelligence-tradecraft methods such as Analysis of Competing Hypotheses (ACH) to improve judgment, but such methods […]

A debate about effect-size variation in psychology: Simmons and Simonsohn; McShane, Böckenholt, and Hansen; Judd and Kenny; and Stanley and Doucouliagos

A couple weeks ago, Uri Simonsohn and Joe Simmons sent me and others a note that they were writing a blog post citing some of our work and asking for us to point out anything that we find “inaccurate, unfair, snarky, misleading, or in want of a change for any reason.” I took a quick […]