Posts Tagged ‘ Sociology ’

The Trumpets of Lilliput

January 19, 2018
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Gur Huberman pointed me to this paper by George Akerlof and Pascal Michaillat that gives an institutional model for the persistence of false belief. The article begins: This paper develops a theory of promotion based on evaluations by the already promoted. The already promoted show some favoritism toward candidates for promotion with similar beliefs, just […] The post The Trumpets of Lilliput appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and…

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A lesson from the Charles Armstrong plagiarism scandal: Separation of the judicial and the executive functions

January 19, 2018
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A lesson from the Charles Armstrong plagiarism scandal:  Separation of the judicial and the executive functions

[updated link] Charles Armstrong is a history professor at Columbia University who, so I’ve heard, has plagiarized and faked references for an award-winning book about Korean history. The violations of the rules of scholarship were so bad that the American Historical Association “reviewed the citation issue after being notified by a member of the concerns […] The post A lesson from the Charles Armstrong plagiarism scandal: Separation of the judicial…

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Hey, here’s a new reason for a journal to reject a paper: it’s “annoying” that it’s already on a preprint server

January 15, 2018
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Alex Gamma writes: I’m interested in publishing in journal X. So I inquire about X’s preprint policy. X’s editor informs me that [Journal X] does not prohibit placing submitted manuscripts on preprint servers. Some reviewers may notice the server version of the article, however, and they may find the lack of anonymity so annoying that […] The post Hey, here’s a new reason for a journal to reject a paper:…

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The puzzle: Why do scientists typically respond to legitimate scientific criticism in an angry, defensive, closed, non-scientific way? The answer: We’re trained to do this during the process of responding to peer review.

January 13, 2018
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[image of Cantor’s corner] Here’s the “puzzle,” as we say in social science. Scientific research is all about discovery of the unexpected: to do research, you need to be open to new possibilities, to design experiments to force anomalies, and to learn from them. The sweet spot for any researcher is at Cantor’s corner. (See […] The post The puzzle: Why do scientists typically respond to legitimate scientific criticism in…

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Why are these explanations so popular?

January 11, 2018
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David Weakliem writes: According to exit polls, Donald Trump got 67% of the vote among whites without a college degree in 2016, which may be the best-ever performance by a Republican (Reagan got 66% of that group in 1984). Weakliem first rejects one possibility that’s been going around: One popular idea is that he cared […] The post Why are these explanations so popular? appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal…

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“However noble the goal, research findings should be reported accurately. Distortion of results often occurs not in the data presented but . . . in the abstract, discussion, secondary literature and press releases. Such distortion can lead to unsupported beliefs about what works for obesity treatment and prevention. Such unsupported beliefs may in turn adversely affect future research efforts and the decisions of lawmakers, clinicians and public health leaders.”

January 7, 2018
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David Allison points us to this article by Bryan McComb, Alexis Frazier-Wood, John Dawson, and himself, “Drawing conclusions from within-group comparisons and selected subsets of data leads to unsubstantiated conclusions.” It’s a letter to the editor for the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, and it begins: [In the paper, “School-based systems change […] The post “However noble the goal, research findings should be reported accurately. Distortion of…

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How does probabilistic computation differ in physics and statistics?

January 5, 2018
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[image of Schrodinger’s cat, of course] Stan collaborator Michael Betancourt wrote an article, “The Convergence of Markov chain Monte Carlo Methods: From the Metropolis method to Hamiltonian Monte Carlo,” discussing how various ideas of computational probability moved from physics to statistics. Three things I wanted to add to Betancourt’s story: 1. My paper with Rubin […] The post How does probabilistic computation differ in physics and statistics? appeared first on…

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How is science like the military? They are politically extreme yet vital to the nation

January 4, 2018
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I was thinking recently about two subcultures in the United States, public or quasi-public institutions that are central to our country’s power, and which politically and socially are distant both from each other and from much of the mainstream of American society. The two institutions I’m thinking of are science and the military, both of […] The post How is science like the military? They are politically extreme yet vital…

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I’m with Errol: On flypaper, photography, science, and storytelling

January 3, 2018
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[image of a cat going after an insect] I’ve been reading this amazing book, Believing is Seeing: Observations on the Mysteries of Photography, by Errol Morris, who, like John Waters, is a pathbreaking filmmaker who is also an excellent writer. I recommend this book, but what I want to talk about here is one particular […] The post I’m with Errol: On flypaper, photography, science, and storytelling appeared first on…

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Your (Canadian) tax dollars at work

December 31, 2017
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Retraction Watch links to this amazing (in a bad way) article by “The International Consortium of Investigators for Fairness in Trial Data Sharing” who propose that “study investigators be allowed exclusive use of the data for a minimum of 2 years after publication of the primary trial results and an additional 6 months for every […] The post Your (Canadian) tax dollars at work appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal…

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