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Archive of posts filed under the Decision Theory category.

Cognitive vs. behavioral in psychology, economics, and political science

I’ve been coming across these issues from several different directions lately, and I wanted to get the basic idea down without killing myself in the writing of it. So consider this a sketchy first draft. The starting point is “behavioral economics,” also known as the “heuristics and biases” subfield of cognitive psychology. It’s associated with […]

Six quick tips to improve your regression modeling

It’s Appendix A of ARM: A.1. Fit many models Think of a series of models, starting with the too-simple and continuing through to the hopelessly messy. Generally it’s a good idea to start simple. Or start complex if you’d like, but prepare to quickly drop things out and move to the simpler model to help […]

The (hypothetical) phase diagram of a statistical or computational method

So here’s the deal. You have a new idea, call it method C, and you try it out on problems X, Y, and Z and it works well—it destroys the existing methods A and B. And then you publish a paper with the pithy title, Method C Wins. And, hey, since we’re fantasizing here anyway, […]

On deck this week

Mon: The (hypothetical) phase diagram of a statistical or computational method Tues: “It is perhaps merely an accident of history that skeptics and subjectivists alike strain on the gnat of the prior distribution while swallowing the camel that is the likelihood” Wed: Six quick tips to improve your regression modeling Thurs: “Another bad chart for […]

Tell me what you don’t know

We’ll ask an expert, or even a student, to “tell me what you know” about some topic. But now I’m thinking it makes more sense to ask people to tell us what they don’t know. Why? Consider your understanding of a particular topic to be divided into three parts: 1. What you know. 2. What […]

Postdoc opportunity here, with us (Jennifer Hill, Marc Scott, and me)! On quantitative education research!!

Hop the Q-TRAIN: that is, the Quantitative Training Program, a postdoctoral research program supervised by Jennifer Hill, Marc Scott, and myself, and funded by the Institute for Education Sciences. As many of you are aware, education research is both important and challenging. And, on the technical level, we’re working on problems in Bayesian inference, multilevel […]

High risk, low return

This one is just too good not to share. I came across it via a link from Retraction Watch. Director of Paris journalism school suspended for plagiarism: Executive director of journalism school at Sciences-Po university suspended while the university investigates accusations she was plagiarising other people’s articles for columns in the Huffington Post . . […]

Another benefit of bloglag

In the classic Philip K. Dick novel, The World Jones Made, the main character has the ability to see the future, in particular he knows what will happen a year in the future, with this window moving forward relative to present time. Sounds cool, huh? But that’s not the character’s perception; instead: It’s not so […]

On deck this week

Mon: “Surely our first response to the disproof of a shocking-but-surprising claim should be to be un-shocked and un-surprised, not to try to explain away the refutation” Tues: Another benefit of bloglag Wed: High risk, low return Thurs: Patience and research Fri: This is why I’m a political scientist and not a psychologist Sat: “What […]

Some art so far

In response to my request #1 (“Gone Fishing” T-shirt), Ed Witt sent in this: I thanked Ed and asked if it would be possible to take the image and add to it so it’s clear that the “.05” is being drawn from a sea of other numbers, also with a little bucket next to the […]