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Archive of posts filed under the Sociology category.

Steven Pinker on writing: Where I agree and where I disagree

Linguist and public intellectual Steven Pinker recently published an article, “Why Academics Stink at Writing.” That’s a topic that interests me! Like Pinker, I’ve done a lot of writing, both for technical and general audiences. Unlike Pinker, I have not done research on linguistics, but I’ll do my best to comment based on my own […]

Unstrooping names

Baptiste Coulmont writes: Following your recent blog post on stroopy names, I do not resist the temptation to send you a recent article on first name changes in France. The point of the article is simple: people who change their first names often explicitly speak about national identity changes in their request for a new […]

Leif and Uri need to hang out with a better class of statisticians

Noted psychology researchers and methods skeptics Leif Nelson and Uri Simonsohn write: A recent Psych Science (.pdf) paper found that sports teams can perform worse when they have too much talent. For example, in Study 3 they found that NBA teams with a higher percentage of talented players win more games, but that teams with […]

The hype cycle starts again

Completely uncritical press coverage of a speculative analysis. But, hey, it was published in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PPNAS)! What could possibly go wrong? Here’s what Erik Larsen writes: In a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, People search for meaning when they approach a […]

Princeton Abandons Grade Deflation Plan . . .

. . . and Kaiser Fung is unhappy. In a post entitled, “Princeton’s loss of nerve,” Kaiser writes: This development is highly regrettable, and a failure of leadership. (The new policy leaves it to individual departments to do whatever they want.) The recent Alumni publication has two articles about this topic, one penned by President […]

Blogs > Twitter

Tweeting has its virtues, I’m sure. But over and over I’m seeing these blog vs. twitter battles where the blogger wins. It goes like this: blogger gives tons and tons of evidence, tweeter responds with a content-free dismissal. The most recent example (as of this posting; remember we’re on an approx 2-month delay here; yes, […]

Replication controversies

I don’t know what ATR is but I’m glad somebody is on the job of prohibiting replication catastrophe: Seriously, though, I’m on a list regarding a reproducibility project, and someone forwarded along this blog by psychology researcher Simone Schnall, whose attitudes we discussed several months ago in the context of some controversies about attempted replications […]

4-year-old post on Arnold Zellner is oddly topical

I’m re-running this Arnold Zellner obituary because it is relevant to two recent blog discussions: 1. Differences between econometrics and statistics 2. Old-fashioned sexism (of the quaint, not the horrible, variety)

Guys, we need to talk. (Houston, we have a problem).

This post is by Phil Price. I’m posting it on Andrew’s blog without knowing exactly where he stands on this so it’s especially important for readers to note that this post is NOT BY ANDREW! Last week a prominent scientist, representing his entire team of researchers, appeared in widely distributed television interviews wearing a shirt […]

“The Statistical Crisis in Science”: My talk in the psychology department Monday 17 Nov at noon

Monday 17 Nov at 12:10pm in Schermerhorn room 200B, Columbia University: Top journals in psychology routinely publish ridiculous, scientifically implausible claims, justified based on “p < 0.05.” And this in turn calls into question all sorts of more plausible, but not necessarily true, claims, that are supported by this same sort of evidence. To put […]