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Archive of posts filed under the Sociology category.

Replication crisis crisis: Why I continue in my “pessimistic conclusions about reproducibility”

A couple days we again discussed the replication crisis in psychology—the problem that all sorts of ridiculous studies on topics such as political moderation and shades of gray, or power pose, or fat arms and political attitudes, or ovulation and vote preference, or ovulation and clothing, or beauty and sex ratios, or elderly-related words and […]

Creationist article Article with creationist language published in Plos-One

Dan Gianola pointed me to this one. It’s an article by Ming-Jin Liu, Cai-Hua Xiong, Le Xiong, and Xiao-Lin Huang with the innocuous title, “Biomechanical Characteristics of Hand Coordination in Grasping Activities of Daily Living,” and a boring abstract: Hand coordination can allow humans to have dexterous control with many degrees of freedom to perform […]

What parts of the country are most religious?

I saw this from Tyler Cowen: The middle part of America is more religious than the South. And I was like, Huh? So I followed the link which in turn linked to this article by J. D. Vance which said: When Gallup ranked every U.S. state by its religiosity, states in the South took nine […]

No, this post is not 30 days early: Psychological Science backs away from null hypothesis significance testing

A few people pointed me to this editorial by D. Stephen Lindsay, the new editor of Psychological Science, a journal that in recent years has been notorious for publishing (and, even more notoriously, promoting) click-bait unreplicable dead-on-arrival noise-mining tea-leaf-reading research papers. It was getting so bad for awhile that they’d be publishing multiple such studies […]

Fitting the birthday model in Stan

I’m scheduling these posts a few months ahead of time, and I realize this is the perfect date for an update on the birthday model. Can we fit in Stan yet? As of this writing, I don’t know. But Aki and Seth assure me that we’re close . . . P.S. Happy 13th birthday, Craig!

Stan does Valentine’s

Today’s story starts with a bit of statistically-related fluff, a news report from Emily Crockett entitled, “Here’s how much people in your state spend on Valentine’s Day gifts”: A survey by Finder.com asked 3,121 Americans how much they spend on Valentine’s Day gifts for their loved ones, and figured out which US states spend the […]

Too big to fail: Why it’s unrealistic to expect scientific journals to retract their huge backlog of erroneous papers

I couple years ago I wrote an article, “It’s too hard to publish criticisms and obtain data for replication.” I gave two examples demonstrating the struggles of myself and others to get journals to admit errors. The problem is that the standards for post-publication review are higher than for pre-publication review. You can find an […]

Fabrication in survey research!

Mike Spagat writes: I think some of your loyal readers will be interested in this conference on fabrication in survey research. You certainly have covered this topic from time to time but I think it would be fair to say that it’s still a little bit too far under the radar screen. The LaCour experience […]

Primed to lose

David Hogg points me to a recent paper, “A Social Priming Data Set With Troubling Oddities” by Hal Pashler, Doug Rohrer, Ian Abramson, Tanya Wolfson, and Christine Harris, which begins: Chatterjee, Rose, and Sinha (2013) presented results from three experiments investigating social priming—specifically, priming effects induced by incidental exposure to concepts relating to cash or […]

Forking paths vs. six quick regression tips

Bill Harris writes: I know you’re on a blog delay, but I’d like to vote to raise the odds that my question in a comment to http://andrewgelman.com/2015/09/15/even-though-its-published-in-a-top-psychology-journal-she-still-doesnt-believe-it/gets discussed, in case it’s not in your queue. It’s likely just my simple misunderstanding, but I’ve sensed two bits of contradictory advice in your writing: fit one complete model all at […]

When does peer review make no damn sense?

Disclaimer: This post is not peer reviewed in the traditional sense of being vetted for publication by three people with backgrounds similar to mine. Instead, thousands of commenters, many of whom are not my peers—in the useful sense that, not being my peers, your perspectives are different from mine, and you might catch big conceptual […]

Empirical violation of Arrow’s theorem!

Regular blog readers know about Arrow’s theorem, which is that any result can be published no more than five times. Well . . . I happened to be checking out Retraction Watch the other day and came across this: “Exactly the same clinical study” published six times Here’s the retraction notice in the journal Inflammation: […]

One thing I like about hierarchical modeling is that is not just about criticism. It’s a way to improve inferences, not just a way to adjust p-values.

In an email exchange regarding the difficulty many researchers have in engaging with statistical criticism (see here for a recent example), a colleague of mine opined: Nowadays, promotion requires more publications, and in an academic environment, researchers are asked to do more than they can. So many researchers just work like workers in a product […]

“Why IT Fumbles Analytics Projects”

Someone pointed me to this Harvard Business Review article by Donald Marchand and Joe Peppard, “Why IT Fumbles Analytics,” which begins as follows: In their quest to extract insights from the massive amounts of data now available from internal and external sources, many companies are spending heavily on IT tools and hiring data scientists. Yet […]

The time-reversal heuristic—a new way to think about a published finding that is followed up by a large, preregistered replication (in context of Amy Cuddy’s claims about power pose)

[Note to busy readers: If you’re sick of power pose, there’s still something of general interest in this post; scroll down to the section on the time-reversal heuristic. I really like that idea.] Someone pointed me to this discussion on Facebook in which Amy Cuddy expresses displeasure with my recent criticism (with Kaiser Fung) of […]

Ted Versus Powerpose and the Moneygoround, Part One

So. I was reading the newspaper the other day and came across a credulous review of the recent book by Amy “Power Pose” Cuddy. The review, by Heather Havrilesky, expressed some overall wariness regarding the self-help genre, but I was disappointed to see no skepticism regarding Cuddy’s scientific claims. And then I did a web […]

Rogue sociologist can’t stop roguin’

Mark Palko points me to two posts by Paul Campos (here and here) on this fascinating train wreck of a story. What happens next? It was ok that George Orwell and A. J. Liebling and David Sedaris made stuff up because they’re such good writers. And journalists make up quotes all the time. But who’s […]

Middle-aged white death trends update: It’s all about women in the south

Jonathan Auerbach and I wrote up some of the age-adjustment stuff we discussed on this blog a couple months ago. Here’s our article, a shorter version of which will appear as a letter in PPNAS. And here’s the new analysis we did showing age-adjusted death rates for 45-54-year-old non-Hispanic white men and women: Wow!! Remember […]

The devil really is in the details; or, You’ll be able to guess who I think are the good guys and who I think are the bad guys in this story, but I think it’s still worth telling because it provides some insight into how (some) scientists view statistics

I noticed this on Retraction Watch: “Scientists clearly cannot rely on the traditional avenues for correcting problems in the literature.” PubPeer responds to an editorial slamming the site. I’ve never actually read anything on PubPeer but I understand it’s a post-publication review site, and I like post-publication review. So I’m heading into this one on […]

Scientists Not Behaving Badly

Andrea Panizza writes: I just read about psychologist Uri Simonson debunking a research by colleagues Raphael Silberzahn & Eric Uhlmann on the positive effects of noble-sounding German surnames on people’s careers (!!!). Here the fact is mentioned. I think that the interesting part (apart, of course, from the general weirdness of Silberzahn & Uhlmann’s research […]