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Archive of posts filed under the Decision Theory category.

On deck this week

Mon: Bayesian decision analysis for the drug-approval process (NSFW) Tues: Mars 1, This American Life 0 Wed: LaCour and Green 1, This American Life 0 Thurs: What is a Republican? Fri: What they’re saying about “blended learning”: “Perhaps the most reasonable explanation is that no one watched the video or did the textbook reading . […]

Jökull Snæbjarnarson writes . . .

Wow! After that name, anything that follows will be a letdown. But we’ll answer his or her question anyway. So here goes. Jökull Snæbjarnarson writes: I’m fitting large bayesian regression models in Stan where I have many parameters. Having fitted a model and some of the “beta” coefficients HDI’s, where beta is the beta in […]

Why I decided not to enter the $100,000 global warming time-series challenge

tl;dr: Negative expected return. Long version: I received the following email the other day from Tom Daula: Interesting applied project for your students, or as a warning for decisions under uncertainty / statistical significance. Real money on the line so the length of time and number of entries required to get a winner may be […]

On deck this week

Mon: Use of Jeffreys prior in estimating climate sensitivity Tues: Hierarchical modeling when you have only 2 groups: I still think it’s a good idea, you just need an informative prior on the group-level variation Wed: I definitely wouldn’t frame it as “To determine if the time series has a change-point or not.” The time […]

7 tips for work-life balance

A student writes in: Dear Sherri: I am **, a PhD student in ** in ** University. I am trying to work productively. For example, I tried to use some todo list software, such as, remember the milk and omnifocus, and read related books. But feeling of overwhelming happens every day, and no achievements were […]

“iPredict to close after Govt refuses anti-money laundering law exemption”

Richard Barker points us to an update on ipredict, the New Zealand political prediction market. From the news article by Hamish Rutherford: The site, run by Victoria University of Wellington’s commercialisation arm, VicLink, issued a statement to its website and on Twitter on Thursday. According to the iPredict statement, Associate Justice Minister Simon Bridges refused […]

Tip o’ the iceberg to ya

Paul Alper writes: The Washington Post ran this article by Fred Barbas with an interesting quotation: “Every day, on average, a scientific paper is retracted because of misconduct,” Ivan Oransky and Adam Marcus, who run Retraction Watch, wrote in a New York Times op-ed in May. But, can that possibly be true, just for misconduct […]

Just Filling in the Bubbles

Collin Hitt writes: I study wrong answers, per your blog post today. My research focuses mostly on surveys of schoolchildren. I study the kids who appear to be just filling in the bubbles, who by accident actually reveal something of use for education researchers. Here’s his most recent paper, “Just Filling in the Bubbles: Using […]

Why is it so hard for them to acknowledge a correction?

Anne Case (as quoted by Jesse Singal): We spent a year working on this paper, sweating out every number, sweating out over what we were doing, and then to see people blogging about it in real time — that’s not the way science really gets done. . . . And so it’s a little hard […]

Taleb’s Precautionary Principle: Should we be scared of GMOs?

Skyler Johnson writes: I was wondering if you could (or had already) weigh(ed) in on Nassim Taleb’s Precautionary Principle as it applies to GMOs? I’ve attached his working paper with Rupert Read, Raphael Douady, Joseph Norman and,Yaneer Bar-Yam. It can also be found at his site, See also his response to a critique from […]

“Using prediction markets to estimate the reproducibility of scientific research”

A reporter sent me this new paper by Anna Dreber, Thomas Pfeiffer, Johan Almenberg, Siri Isaksson, Brad Wilson, Yiling Chen, Brian Nosek, and Magnus Johannesson, which begins: Concerns about a lack of reproducibility of statistically significant results have recently been raised in many fields, and it has been argued that this lack comes at substantial […]

Why Retraction Watch remains necessary

A few months ago Psych Science issued a press release, “Blue and Seeing Blue: Sadness May Impair Color Perception,” promoting a fatally flawed paper that appeared in their journal. I heard about this paper from Nick Brown, and we slammed it on the blog. As I wrote at the time, I have nothing against the […]

On deck this week

Mon: Stop screaming already: Exaggeration of effects of fan distraction in NCAA basketball Tues: My job here is done Wed: The tabloids strike again Thurs: Econometrics: Instrument locally, extrapolate globally Fri: I wish Napoleon Bonaparte had never been born Sat: This is a workshop you can’t miss: DataMeetsViz Sun: You won’t believe these stunning transformations: […]

On deck this week

Lotsa hoops this week: Mon: Don’t miss this one: “Modern Physics from an Elementary Point of View” Tues: Super-topical NBA post!!! Wed: Hi-tech hoops: Characterizing the spatial structure of defensive skill in professional basketball Thurs: You won’t be able to stop staring at this original Hot Hand preprint Fri: Stop screaming already: Exaggeration of effects […]

Meet the 1 doctor in America who has no opinion on whether cigarette smoking contributes to lung cancer in human beings.

Paul Alper writes: In your blog today you once again criticize Tol’s putative results regarding global warming: “At no point did Tol apologize or thank the people who pointed out his errors; instead he lashed out, over and over again. Irresponsible indeed.” Well, here is something far more irresponsible and depressing. Read Susan Perry: Why […]

3 reasons why you can’t always use predictive performance to choose among models

A couple years ago Wei and I published a paper, Difficulty of selecting among multilevel models using predictive accuracy, in which we . . . well, we discussed the difficulty of selecting among multilevel models using predictive accuracy. The paper happened as follows. We’d been fitting hierarchical logistic regressions of poll data and I had […]

3 postdoc opportunities you can’t miss—here in our group at Columbia! Apply NOW, don’t miss out!

Hey, just once, the Buzzfeed-style hype is appropriate. We have 3 amazing postdoc opportunities here, and you need to apply NOW. Here’s the deal: we’re working on some amazing projects. You know about Stan and associated exciting projects in computational statistics. There’s the virtual database query, which is the way I like to describe our […]

On deck this week

Mon: Mars Missions are a Scam Tues: What do you learn from p=.05? This example from Carl Morris will blow your mind. Wed: Here’s a theoretical research project for you Thurs: In that article, they forgot to mention that Ludmerer is one of the 5 doctors in America who has no opinion on whether cigarette […]

On deck this week

Mon: Cognitive skills rising and falling Tues: Anti-cheating robots Wed: Mindset interventions are a scalable treatment for academic underachievement — or not? Thurs: Most successful blog post ever Fri: Political advertising update Sat: Doomed to fail: A pre-registration site for parapsychology Sun: Mars Missions are a Scam Also, don’t forget what’s on deck for the […]

Flamebait: “Mathiness” in economics and political science

Political scientist Brian Silver points me to his post by economist Paul Romer, who writes: The style that I [Romer] am calling mathiness lets academic politics masquerade as science. Like mathematical theory, mathiness uses a mixture of words and symbols, but instead of making tight links, it leaves ample room for slippage between statements in […]