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Archive of posts filed under the Sociology category.

Stroopy names

Baby Name Wizard is all over this one. And this all makes me wonder: is there a psychology researcher somewhere with a dog named Stroopy? Probably so. P.S. I just made the mistake of googling “Stroopy.” Don’t do it. I was referring to this.

“Psychohistory” and the hype paradox

Lee Wilkinson writes: I thought you might be interested in this post. I was asked about this by someone at Skytree and replied with this link to Tyler Vigen’s Spurious Correlations. What’s most interesting about Vigen’s site is not his video (he doesn’t go into the dangers of correlating time series, for example), but his […]

Cool new position available: Director of the Pew Research Center Labs

Peter Henne writes: I wanted to let you know about a new opportunity at Pew Research Center for a data scientist that might be relevant to some of your colleagues. I [Henne] am a researcher with the Pew Research Center, where I manage an international index on religious issues. I am also working with others […]

President of American Association of Buggy-Whip Manufacturers takes a strong stand against internal combustion engine, argues that the so-called “automobile” has “little grounding in theory” and that “results can vary widely based on the particular fuel that is used”

Some people pointed me to this official statement signed by Michael Link, president of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR). My colleague David Rothschild and I wrote a measured response to Link’s statement which I posted on the sister blog. But then I made the mistake of actually reading what Link wrote, and […]

Scientific communication by press release

Hector Cordero-Guzman writes:

When doing scientific replication or criticism, collaboration with the original authors is fine but I don’t think it should be a requirement or even an expectation

Dominik Papies points me to this article, “Matched-Names Analysis Reveals No Evidence of Name-Meaning Effects,” by psychologist and data detective Uri Simonsohn, in collaboration with Raphael Silberzahn and Eric Luis Uhlmann, the two authors of an earlier study that this new report is refuting. Papies writes: This seems to me an interesting case where a […]

The “scientific surprise” two-step

During the past year or so, we’ve been discussing a bunch of “Psychological Science”-style papers in which dramatic claims are made based on somewhat open-ended analysis of small samples with noisy measurements. One thing that comes up in some of these discussions is that the people performing the studies say that they did not fish […]

Statistics and data science, again

Phillip Middleton writes in with two questions: (1) Is html markdown or some other formatting script usable in comments? If so, what are the tags I may use? (2) What are your views on the role of statistics in the evolution of the various folds of convergent science? For example, upon us there is this […]

Skepticism about a published claim regarding income inequality and happiness

Frank de Libero writes: I read your Chance article (disproving that no one reads Chance!) re communicating about flawed psychological research. And I know from your other writings of your continuing good fight against misleading quantitative work. I think you and your students might be interested on my recent critique of a 2011 paper published […]

Differences between econometrics and statistics: From varying treatment effects to utilities, economists seem to like models that are fixed in stone, while statisticians tend to be more comfortable with variation

I had an interesting discussion with Peter Dorman (whose work on assessing the value of a life we discussed in this space a few years ago). The conversation started when Peter wrote me about his recent success using hierarchical modeling for risk analysis. He wrote, “Where have they [hierarchical models] been all my life? In […]