Skip to content
Archive of posts filed under the Political Science category.

Sailing between the Scylla of hyping of sexy research and the Charybdis of reflexive skepticism

Recently I had a disagreement with Larry Bartels which I think is worth sharing with you. Larry and I took opposite positions on the hot topic of science criticism. To put things in a positive way, Larry was writing about some interesting recent research which I then constructively criticized. To be more negative, Larry was […]

Three ways to present a probability forecast, and I only like one of them

To the nearest 10%: To the nearest 1%: To the nearest 0.1%: I think the National Weather Service knows what they’re doing on this one.

When am I a conservative and when am I a liberal (when it comes to statistics, that is)?

Here I am one day: Let me conclude with a statistical point. Sometimes researchers want to play it safe by using traditional methods — most notoriously, in that recent note by Michael Link, president of the American Association of Public Opinion Research, arguing against non-probability sampling on the (unsupported) grounds that such methods have “little […]

Varieties of description in political science

Markus Kreuzer writes:

Rational != Self-interested

I’ve said it before (along with Aaron Edlin and Noah Kaplan) and I’ll say it again. Rationality and self-interest are two dimensions of behavior. An action can be: 1. Rational and self-interested 2. Irrational and self-interested 3. Rational and altruistic 4. Irrational and altruistic. It’s easy enough to come up with examples of all of […]

65% of principals say that at least 30% of students . . . wha??

Alan Sloane writes: The OECD put out a report drawing on their PISA and TALIS data: http://oecdeducationtoday.blogspot.ie/2014/07/poverty-and-perception-of-poverty-how.html I notice that it’s already attracted a NY Times op-ed by David Leonhart: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/23/upshot/principals-in-us-are-more-likely-to-consider-their-students-poor.html There are a number of things I find strange in its analysis and interpretation but, for starters, there’s the horizontal axis in the chart […]

Are Ivy League schools overrated?

I won’t actually answer the above question, as I am offering neither a rating of these schools nor a measure of how others rate them (which would be necessary to calibrate the “overrated” claim). What I am doing is responding to an email from Mark Palko, who wrote: I [Palko] am in broad agreement with […]

Why I’m still not persuaded by the claim that subliminal smiley-faces can have big effects on political attitudes

We had a discussion last month on the sister blog regarding the effects of subliminal messages on political attitudes.  It started with a Larry Bartels post entitled “Here’s how a cartoon smiley face punched a big hole in democratic theory,” with the subtitle, “Fleeting exposure to ‘irrelevant stimuli’ powerfully shapes our assessments of policy arguments,” discussing the […]

“How to disrupt the multi-billion dollar survey research industry”

David Rothschild (coauthor of the Xbox study, the Mythical Swing Voter paper, and of course the notorious Aapor note) will be speaking Friday 10 Oct in the Economics and Big Data meetup in NYC. His title: “How to disrupt the multi-billion dollar survey research industry: information aggregation using non-representative polling data.” Should be fun! P.P.S. […]

What does CNN have in common with Carmen Reinhart, Kenneth Rogoff, and Richard Tol: They all made foolish, embarrassing errors that would never have happened had they been using R Markdown

Rachel Cunliffe shares this delight: Had the CNN team used an integrated statistical analysis and display system such as R Markdown, nobody would’ve needed to type in the numbers by hand, and the above embarrassment never would’ve occurred. And CNN should be embarrassed about this: it’s much worse than a simple typo, as it indicates […]