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Short course on Bayesian data analysis and Stan 18-20 July in NYC!

Jonah Gabry, Vince Dorie, and I are giving a 3-day short course in two weeks. Before class everyone should install R, RStudio and RStan on their computers. (If you already have these, please update to the latest version of R and the latest version of Stan, which is 2.10.) If problems occur please join the […]

Should this paper in Psychological Science be retracted? The data do not conclusively demonstrate the claim, nor do they provide strong evidence in favor. The data are, however, consistent with the claim (as well as being consistent with no effect)

Retractions or corrections of published papers are rare. We routinely encounter articles with fatal flaws, but it is so rare that such articles are retracted that it’s news when it happens. Retractions sometimes happen at the request of the author (as in the link above, or in my own two retracted/corrected articles) and other times […]

How is Brexit different than Texit, Quexit, or Scotxit?

Here’s a news item: Emboldened by Brexit, U.S. secessionists in Texas are keen to adopt the campaign tactics used to sway the British vote for leaving the European Union and are demanding “Texit” comes next. . . . “The Texas Nationalist Movement is formally calling on the Texas governor to support a similar vote for […]

On deck this week

Mon: How is Brexit different than Texit, Quexit, or Scotxit? Tues: Should this paper in Psychological Science be retracted? The data do not conclusively demonstrate the claim, nor do they provide strong evidence in favor. The data are, however, consistent with the claim (as well as being consistent with no effect) Wed: Individual and aggregate […]

When are people gonna realize their studies are dead on arrival?

A comment at Thomas Lumley’s blog pointed me to this discussion by Terry Burnham with an interesting story of some flashy psychology research that failed to replicate. Here’s Burnham: [In his popular book, psychologist Daniel] Kahneman discussed an intriguing finding that people score higher on a test if the questions are hard to read. The […]

Euro 2016 update

Big news out of Europe, everyone’s talking about soccer. Leo Egidi updated his model and now has predictions for the Round of 16: Here’s Leo’s report, and here’s his zipfile with data and Stan code. The report contains some ugly histograms showing the predictive distributions of goals to be scored in each game. The R […]

What they’re saying about “blended learning”: “Perhaps the most reasonable explanation is that no one watched the video or did the textbook reading . . .”

Someone writes in: I was wondering if you had a chance to see the commentary by the Stockwells on blended learning strategies that was recently published in Cell and which also received quite a nice write up by Columbia. It’s also currently featured on Columbia’s webpage. In fact, I was a student in Prof. Stockwell’s […]

Brexit polling: What went wrong?

Commenter numeric writes: Since you were shilling for yougov the other day you might want to talk about their big miss on Brexit (off by 6% from their eve-of-election poll—remain up 2 on their last poll and leave up by 4 as of this posting). Fair enough: Had Yougov done well, I could use them […]

My talk tomorrow (Thurs) 10:30am at ICML in NYC

I’ll be speaking at the workshop on Data-Efficient Machine Learning. And here’s the schedule. I’ll be speaking on the following topic: Toward Routine Use of Informative Priors Bayesian statistics is typically performed using noninformative priors but the resulting inferences commonly make no sense and also can lead to computational problems as algorithms have to waste […]

It comes down to reality and it’s fine with me cause I’ve let it slide

E. J. Wagenmakers pointed me to this recent article by Roy Baumeister, who writes: Patience and diligence may be rewarded, but competence may matter less than in the past. Getting a significant result with n = 10 often required having an intuitive flair for how to set up the most conducive situation and produce a […]

Time-reversal heuristic as randomization, and p < .05 as conflict of interest declaration

Alex Gamma writes: Reading your blog recently has inspired two ideas which have in common that they analogize statistical concepts with non-statistical ones related to science: The time-reversal heuristic as randomization: Pushing your idea further leads to the notion of randomization of the sequence of study “reporting”. Studies are produced sequentially, but consumers of science […]

YouGov uses Mister P for Brexit poll

Ben Lauderdale and Doug Rivers give the story: There has been a lot of noise in polling on the upcoming EU referendum. Unlike the polls before the 2015 General Election, which were in almost perfect agreement (though, of course, not particularly close to the actual outcome), this time the polls are in serious disagreement. Telephone […]

Reduced-dimensionality parameterizations for linear models with interactions

After seeing this post by Matthew Wilson on a class of regression models called “factorization machines,” Aki writes: In a typical machine learning way, this is called “machine”, but it would be also a useful mode structure in Stan to make linear models with interactions, but with a reduced number of parameters. With a fixed […]

Why I don’t believe the claim that Fox News can get Trump elected

Full story in the sister blog. Short story is that some economists did some out-of-control extrapolations. More of my recent sister blog entries here.

Clarke’s Law: Any sufficiently crappy research is indistinguishable from fraud

The originals: Clarke’s first law: When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong. Clarke’s second law: The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into […]

On deck this week

Mon: Clarke’s Law: Any sufficiently crappy research is indistinguishable from fraud Tues: Reduced-dimensionality parameterizations for linear models with interactions Wed: Time-reversal heuristic as randomization, and p < .05 as conflict of interest declaration Thurs: It comes down to reality and it’s fine with me cause I’ve let it slide Fri: Can a census-tract-level regression analysis […]

How an academic urban legend can spread because of the difficulty of clear citation

Allan Dafoe writes: I just came across this article about academic urban legends spreading because of sloppy citation practices. I found it fascinating and relevant to the conversations on your blog. The article is by Ole Bjørn Rekdal and it is indeed fascinating. It begins as follows: Many of the messages presented in respectable scientific […]

Difficulty of communication in our supersaturated media environment

Gregory Gelembiuk writes: I was wondering if you might take a look at this and, if so inclined, do some public shredding. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6mLpCEIGEYGYl9RZWFRcmpsZk0/view?pref=2&pli=1 http://www.snopes.com/stanford-study-proves-election-fraud-through-exit-poll-discrepancies/ http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2016/6/13/11420/5989 Claims of electoral fraud have become increasingly popular among political progressives in the last several years and, unfortunately, appear to be gaining critical mass (especially with Sanders’ loss). The “study” […]

The NYT inadvertently demonstrates how not to make a graph

Andrew Hacker writes: I have the class prepare a report on how many households in the United States have telephones, land and cell. After studying census data, they focus on two: Connecticut and Arkansas, with respective ownerships of 98.9 percent and 94.6 percent. They are told they have to choose one of the following charts […]

Hey—here’s a tip from the biology literature: If your correlation is .02, try binning your data to get a correlation of .8 or .9!

Josh Cherry writes: This isn’t in the social sciences, but it’s an egregious example of statistical malpractice: Below the abstract you can find my [Cherry’s] comment on the problem, which was submitted as a letter to the journal, but rejected on the grounds that the issue does not affect the main conclusions of the article […]