Posts Tagged ‘ Miscellaneous Science ’

I owe it all to my Neanderthal genes

April 25, 2016
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I owe it all to my Neanderthal genes

Yesterday I posted a methods-focused item at the Monkey Cage, a follow-up of a post from a couple years ago arguing against some dramatic claims by economists Ashraf and Galor regarding the wealth of nations. No big deal, just some standard-issue skepticism. But for some reason this one caught fire—maybe somebody important linked to it, […] The post I owe it all to my Neanderthal genes appeared first on Statistical…

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A new idea for a science core course based entirely on computer simulation

April 21, 2016
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I happen to come across this post from 2011 that I like so much, I thought I’d say it again: Columbia College has for many years had a Core Curriculum, in which students read classics such as Plato (in translation) etc. A few years ago they created a Science core course. There was always some […] The post A new idea for a science core course based entirely on computer…

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“Cancer Research Is Broken”

April 20, 2016
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Michael Oakes pointed me to this excellent news article by Daniel Engber, subtitled, “There’s a replication crisis in biomedicine—and no one even knows how deep it runs.” Engber suggests that the replication problem in biomedical research is worse than the much-publicized replication problem in psychology. One reason, which I didn’t see Engber discussing, is financial […] The post “Cancer Research Is Broken” appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and…

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Avoiding model selection in Bayesian social research

April 16, 2016
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The other day I happened to come across this paper that I wrote with Don Rubin in 1995. I really like it—it’s so judicious and mature, I can’t believe I wrote it over 20 years ago! Let this be a lesson to all of you that it’s possible to get somewhere by reasoning from first […] The post Avoiding model selection in Bayesian social research appeared first on Statistical Modeling,…

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Why I don’t believe Fergus Simpson’s Big Alien Theory

April 12, 2016
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Why I don’t believe Fergus Simpson’s Big Alien Theory

It all began with this message from Christopher Bonnett: I’m a observational cosmologist and I am writing you as I think the following paper + article might be of interest for your blog. A fellow cosmologist, Fergus Simpson, has done a Bayesian analysis on the size of aliens, it has passed peer-review and has been […] The post Why I don’t believe Fergus Simpson’s Big Alien Theory appeared first on…

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Should I be upset that the NYT credulously reviewed a book promoting iffy science?

April 10, 2016
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Should I be upset that the NYT credulously reviewed a book promoting iffy science?

I want to say “junk science,” but that’s not quite right. The claims in questions are iffy, far from proven, and could not be replicated, but they still might be true. As usual, my criticism is the claim that the evidence is strong, when it isn’t. From the review, by Heather Havrilesky: The social psychologist […] The post Should I be upset that the NYT credulously reviewed a book promoting…

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Gresham’s Law of experimental methods

March 31, 2016
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Gresham’s Law of experimental methods

A cognitive scientist writes: You’ll be interested to see a comment from one of my students, who’s trying to follow all your advice: It’s hard to see all this bullshit in top journals, while I see that if I do things right, it takes a long time, and I don’t have the beautiful results these […] The post Gresham’s Law of experimental methods appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference,…

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Statistics is like basketball, or knitting

March 11, 2016
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Statistics is like basketball, or knitting

I had a recent exchange with a news reporter regarding one of those silly psychology studies. I took a look at the article in question—this time it wasn’t published in Psychological Science or PPNAS so it didn’t get saturation publicity—and indeed it was bad, laughably bad. They didn’t just have the garden of forking paths, […] The post Statistics is like basketball, or knitting appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal…

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Bruised and battered, I couldn’t tell what I felt. I was ungeneralizable to myself.

March 9, 2016
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Bruised and battered, I couldn’t tell what I felt.  I was ungeneralizable to myself.

One more rep. The new thing you just have to read, if you’re following the recent back-and-forth on replication in psychology, is this post at Retraction Watch in which Nosek et al. respond to criticisms from Gilbert et al. regarding the famous replication project. Gilbert et al. claimed that many of the replications in the […] The post Bruised and battered, I couldn’t tell what I felt. I was ungeneralizable…

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At this point, even Tom Cruise is skeptical about claims of social priming. (Click to find out why)

March 3, 2016
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At this point, even Tom Cruise is skeptical about claims of social priming. (Click to find out why)

The blogger known as Neuroskeptic writes: Can the thought of money make people more conservative? The idea that mere reminders of money can influence people’s attitudes and behaviors is a major claim within the field of social priming – the study of how our behavior is unconsciously influenced by seemingly innocuous stimuli. However, social priming […] The post At this point, even Tom Cruise is skeptical about claims of social…

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