Posts Tagged ‘ science ’

Yet another popular nutrition headline doesn’t stand up to scrutiny

April 1, 2015
By
Yet another popular nutrition headline doesn’t stand up to scrutiny

Are science journalists required to take one good statistics course? That is the question in my head when I read this Science Times article, titled "One Cup of Coffee Could Offset Three Drinks a Day" (link). We are used to seeing rather tenuous conclusions such as "Four Cups of Coffee Reduces Your Risk of X". This headline takes it up another notch. A result is claimed about the substitution effect…

Read more »

The TES Challenge to Greg Francis

March 29, 2015
By

This post is a follow-up to my previous post, “Statistical alchemy and the 'test for excess significance'”. In the comments on that post, Greg Francis objected to my points about the Test for Excess Significance. I laid out a challenge in which I would use simulation to demonstrate these points. Greg Francis agreed to the details; this post is about the results of the simulations (with links to the code,…

Read more »

Two things to stop saying about null hypotheses

March 28, 2015
By
Two things to stop saying about null hypotheses

There is a currently fashionable way of describing Bayes factors that resonates with experimental psychologists. I hear it often, particularly as a way to describe a particular use of Bayes factors. For example, one might say, “I needed to prove the null, so I used a Bayes factor,” or “Bayes factors are great because with them, you can prove the null.” I understand the motivation behind this sort of language…

Read more »

Designers fuss over little details and so should you

March 25, 2015
By
Designers fuss over little details and so should you

Those who attended my dataviz talks have seen a version of the following chart that showed up yesterday on New York Times (link): This chart shows the fluctuation in Arctic sea ice volume over time. The dataset is a simple...

Read more »

Sense and nonsense about Big Data and surveys

March 23, 2015
By

The American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) has put out its Big Data report last month (link). This one is worth reading. It has some of the most current citations, and readers of this blog will be very receptive to its core messages. The team who wrote the report is a mix of academics and practitioners. *** In Big Data, there are many self-evident truths, according to the people…

Read more »

Statistical alchemy and the "test for excess significance"

March 23, 2015
By

[This post is based largely on my 2013 article for Journal of Mathematical Psychology; see the other articles in that special issue as well for more critiques.]When I tell people that my primary area of research is statistical methods, one of the reactions I often encounter from people untrained in statistics is that “you can prove anything with statistics.” Of course, this rankles, first because it isn't true (unless you…

Read more »

Some data science principles from Gelman, Rosling and me

March 6, 2015
By
Some data science principles from Gelman, Rosling and me

I discovered Hans Rosling's Gapminder work when I first started Junk Charts almost ten year ago, with this series of posts. So I was very excited to meet Hans yesterday at the Data, Children and Post-2015 Agenda Event hosted by the UNICEF Data and Analytics Section. And he gave a marvellous talk. I came away touched in equal parts by his humanity, the animated passion for his subject, and the…

Read more »

New interview

March 5, 2015
By
New interview

I answered some questions from KDnuggets. Here is Part 1 of the interview. They picked this image.

Read more »

Cluster analysis in the classroom

March 4, 2015
By
Cluster analysis in the classroom

I am a guest at the New School's Journalism + Design program this semester. The students conducted interviews about the question of what makes someone famous. Their interviewees were asked to name five famous people. We had images of these people up on the wall. Then, we put the pictures into clusters. We tried two different ways of doing it. At the end, we compared our result to what a…

Read more »

What have a physicist, an entrepreneur and an actor in common?

February 10, 2015
By
What have a physicist, an entrepreneur and an actor in common?

They all try to do something new and take the risk to be seen as a fool.Over the last few days I stumbled over three videos by a physicist, an entrepreneur and an actor, which at first have little in common, but they do. They all need to know when they...

Read more »


Subscribe

Email:

  Subscribe