If Spain loses to Italy on Sunday, they have no one to blame but themselves

June 29, 2012
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Euro 2012 is reaching its apex, and the final to be played on Sunday is between Spain and Italy. Yes, this is the Italian team that Spain let off the hook during the group stage. The Spanish team had 90 minutes to think about their strategy and a crucial two or three minutes at the end of their match against Croatia to give Italy the "biscotto". If Spain did that,…

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Bayesian credible intervals in the mainstream medical literature

June 29, 2012
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I have sometimes heard complaints from collaborators that it will be impossible to have their work published in the mainstream literature unless a p-value is reported. This post is to report yet another counterexample that was recently published; a meta-analysis for the odds of perioperative bleeding complications in patients taking one of several anticoagulant/antiplatelet drugs. […]

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R is Not So Hard! A Tutorial, Part 1

June 29, 2012
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R is Not So Hard!  A Tutorial, Part 1

OK. Indeed, R has a longer learning curve than other systems, but don’t let that put you off! Once you master the syntax, you have control of an immensely powerful statistical tool. Actually, much of the syntax is not all that difficult. Don’t believe me? To prove it, let’s look at some syntax for providing summary statistics on a continuous variable.

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An Easy Way to Reverse Code Scale items

June 29, 2012
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An Easy Way to Reverse Code Scale items

So for example let's say you have 20 items each on a 1 to 7 scale. For most items, a 7 may indicate a positive attitude toward some issue, but for a few items, a 1 indicates a positive attitude. I want to show you a very quick and easy way to reverse code them using a single command line. This works in any software.

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Decline Effect in Linguistics?

June 29, 2012
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Josef Fruehwald writes: In the past few years, the empirical foundations of the social sciences, especially Psychology, have been coming under increased scrutiny and criticism. For example, there was the New Yorker piece from 2010 called “The Truth Wears Off” about the “decline effect,” or how the effect size of a phenomenon appears to decrease [...]

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Tracking Euro 2012

June 29, 2012
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Tracking Euro 2012

   

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Obamacare is not going to solve the health care crisis, but a new initiative, led by a statistician, may help

June 29, 2012
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Obamacare is not going to solve the health care crisis, but a new initiative, led by a statistician, may help

Obamacare may help protect a vulnerable section of our population, but it does nothing to solve the real problem with health care in the US: it is unsustainably expensive and getting worst worse. In the graph below (left) per capita medical expenditure...

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Solving mastermind with R

June 29, 2012
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In my last post I have shown a solution to classical sorting problem in R. So I thought that this time it would be nice to generate a strategy for playing Mastermind using R.It was shown by D.E. Knuth that Mastermind code can be bro...

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Is using zero as a random number seed the same as not specifying a seed?

June 29, 2012
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Is using zero as a random number seed the same as not specifying a seed?

I received the following query regarding the RAND function in Base SAS: In SAS, is specifying 0 as a random number seed the same as not specifying a seed at all? The question concerns initializing the SAS random number stream by using the internal system clock. You can do this [...]

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Life imitates blog

June 29, 2012
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I just noticed this from a couple years ago!

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p values, the cliff effect and the nature of evidence

June 28, 2012
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p values, the cliff effect and the nature of evidence

I've been thinking about p values quite a bit recently - prompted by a other bloggers and by some journal work. One interesting phenomenon in this area is the cliff effect: a supposed abrupt shift in researchers' confidence in an effect when moving fro...

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Station Maps: Browser-Based 3D Maps of the London Underground

June 28, 2012
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Station Maps: Browser-Based 3D Maps of the London Underground

Station Maps [aeracode.org] by programmer Andrew Godwin contains a large collection of browser-based (HTML5) 3D maps depicting different London Underground/DLR stations. Most of the stations are modelled from memory in combination with a few diagram...

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Census Explorer: Interactively Analyze the 2011 Australian Census Data

June 28, 2012
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Census Explorer: Interactively Analyze the 2011 Australian Census Data

Census Explorer [sbs.com.au] designed by Sydney-based Small Multiples, visualizes the statistical data behind the people who speak about 579 different languages in 9,138 locations around Australia. Users are able to explore patterns and trends in ter...

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Secularization in America: part four

June 28, 2012
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Secularization in America: part four

Summary so farIn Part One I described trends in market share of major religions in the U.S.: since 1988, the fraction of Protestants dropped from 60% to 51%, and the fraction of people with no religious affiliation increased from 8% to 1...

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Every time you take a sample, you’ll have to pay this guy a quarter

June 28, 2012
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Every time you take a sample, you’ll have to pay this guy a quarter

Roy Mendelssohn pointed me to this heartwarming story of Jay Vadiveloo, an actuary who got a patent for the idea of statistical sampling. Vadiveloo writes, “the results were astounding: statistical sampling worked.” You may laugh, but wait till Albedo Man buys the patent and makes everybody do his bidding. They’re gonna dig up Laplace and [...]

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Motivating statistical projects

June 28, 2012
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Motivating statistical projects

It seems like half of the battle in statistics is identifying an important/unsolved problem. In math, this is easy, they have a list. So why is it harder for statistics? Since I have to think up projects to work on for my research group, for classes I ...

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Reminder: Next Kölner R User Meeting 6 July 2012

June 28, 2012
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Reminder: Next Kölner R User Meeting 6 July 2012

This post is a quick reminder that the next Cologne R user group meeting is only one week away. We will meet on 6 July 2012. The meeting will kick off at 18:00 with three short talks at the Institute of Sociology and will continue, even more informal, ...

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Stand Your Ground laws and homicides

June 28, 2012
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Stand Your Ground laws and homicides

Jeff points me to a paper by Chandler McClellan and Erdal Tekin which begins as follows: The controversies surrounding Stand Your Ground laws have recently captured the nation’s attention. Since 2005, eighteen states have passed laws extending the right to self-defense with no duty to retreat to any place a person has a legal right [...]

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99!

June 28, 2012
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Those of you who know what I’m talking about, know what I’m talking about.

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The price of skepticism

June 27, 2012
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Thanks to John Cook for posting this: “If you’re only skeptical, then no new ideas make it through to you. You never can learn anything. You become a crotchety misanthrope convinced that nonsense is ruling the world.” – Carl Sagan

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Recently in the sister blog

June 27, 2012
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If Paul Krugman is right and it’s 1931, what happens next? What’s with Niall Ferguson? Hey, this reminds me of the Democrats in the U.S. . . . Would President Romney contract the economy? Inconsistency with prior knowledge triggers children’s...

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Browsing dbGAP Results

June 27, 2012
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Browsing dbGAP Results

Thanks to the excellent work of Lucia Hindorff and colleagues at NHGRI, the GWAS catalog provides a great reference for the cumulative results of GWAS for various phenotypes.  Anyone familiar with GWAS also likely knows about dbGaP – the NCBI ...

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And Now, for Something a Little Different . . . | Director’s Blog – US Census Bureau

June 27, 2012
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And Now, for Something a Little Different . . . | Director’s Blog – US Census Bureau

Posted on June 27, 2012Several posts ago, I outlined a set of thoughts (The Future of Producing Social and Economic Statistical Information, Part I, Part II, Part III) of how statistical agencies might navigate the future.  How...

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