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Archive of posts filed under the Sociology category.

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 […]

“Differences Between Econometrics and Statistics” (my talk this Monday at the University of Pennsylvania econ dept)

Differences Between Econometrics and Statistics:  that’s the title of the talk I’ll be giving at the econometrics workshop at noon on Monday. At 4pm 4:30pm in the same place, I’ll be speaking on Stan. And here are some things for people to read: For “Differences between econometrics and statistics”: Everyone’s trading bias for variance at […]

Why I’m not posting on this topic

A colleague writes: Following our recent ** article (on which you commented favourably . . .), are you maybe planning a blog post on this? Both ** and ** have extensively analysed the statistical methods used in the original article, and found them wanting. I would really like to see the ** article retracted, as […]

Scientists behaving badly

By “badly,” I don’t just mean unethically or immorally; I’m also including those examples of individual scientists who are not clearly violating any ethical rules but are acting in a way as to degrade, rather than increase, our understanding of the world. In the latter case I include examples such as the senders of the […]

Social research is not the same as health research: Macartan Humphreys gives new guidelines for ethics in social science research

In reaction to the recent controversy about a research project that interfered with an election in Montana, political scientist Macartan Humphreys shares some excellent ideas on how to think about ethics in social science research: Social science researchers rely on principles developed by health researchers that do not always do the work asked of them […]

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 […]

Science tells us that fast food lovers are more likely to marry other fast food lovers

Emma Pierson writes: I’m a statistician working at the genetics company 23andMe before pursuing a master’s in statistics at Oxford on a Rhodes scholarship. I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog, and we’ve been doing some social science research at 23andMe which I thought might be of interest. We have about half a million customers answering […]

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 […]