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Archive of posts filed under the Sociology category.

“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”

I came across the above quote the other day in an old post of mine, when searching for a Schrodinger’s cat image. The quote came up in the context of a statistical claim made by a political activist which was widely promoted and discussed but which turned out to be false. As I wrote at […]

When a study fails to replicate: let’s be fair and open-minded

In a recent discussion of replication in science (particularly psychology experiments), the question came up of how to interpret things when a preregistered replication reaches a conclusion different from the original study. Typically the original, published result is large and statistically significant, and the estimate from the replication is small and not statistically significant. One […]

The bracket!

That’s right, we’re getting ready for the battle to choose the ultimate seminar speaker. Paul Davidson, who sent in the image below, writes: Knocked together in Excel. I’m European, so I may not have respected the North American system for brackets i.e. I split each category into seeded pools and randomly drew from them. The […]

I need your help in setting up the ultimate bracket: Picking the ideal seminar speaker

This came in the departmental email awhile ago: CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: LATOUR SEMINAR — DUE DATE AUGUST 11 (extended) The Brown Institute for Media Innovation, Alliance (Columbia University, École Polytechnique, Sciences Po, and Panthéon-Sorbonne University), The Center for Science and Society, and The Faculty of Arts and Sciences are proud to present BRUNO LATOUR AT […]

Wow—this is much more impressive than anything Frank Flynn ever did!

This is what I call a rogue sociologist.

“Life Paths and Accomplishments of Mathematically Precocious Males and Females Four Decades Later”

Hmmmm . . . I think that, by “males and females,” they mean “boys and girls.” Anyway, I was interested in this paper (by David Lubinski, Camilla Benbow, and Harrison Kell) because . . . I’m one of the kids in the study. I was 11 years old at the time. What’s happened since then? […]

“Why continue to teach and use hypothesis testing?”

Greg Werbin points us to an online discussion of the following question: Why continue to teach and use hypothesis testing (with all its difficult concepts and which are among the most statistical sins) for problems where there is an interval estimator (confidence, bootstrap, credibility or whatever)? What is the best explanation (if any) to be […]

Stethoscope as weapon of mass distraction

Macartan Humphreys sent me a Shiny app demonstrating you can get statistical significance from just about any pattern of random numbers. I posted it, and, in response, commenter Rahul wrote: It sure is a cute demo but it’s a bit like insinuating a doctor’s stethoscope is useless by demonstrating ten ways in which it can […]

A New Year puzzle from Macartan Humphreys

Macartan writes: There is a lot of worry about publication and analysis bias in social science research. It seems results are much more likely to be published if they are statistically significant than if not which can lead to very misleading inferences. There is some hope that this problem can be partly addressed through analytic […]

Your closest collaborator . . . and why you can’t talk with her

We get a lot of good comments on this blog but this one’s especially memorable. From Erin Jonaitis: Your closest collaborator is you six months ago but you don’t reply to email.