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Archive of posts filed under the Statistical graphics category.

Small multiples of lineplots > maps (ok, not always, but yes in this case)

Kaiser Fung shares this graph from Ritchie King: Kaiser writes: What they did right: – Did not put the data on a map – Ordered the countries by the most recent data point rather than alphabetically – Scale labels are found only on outer edge of the chart area, rather than one set per panel […]

Understanding Simpson’s paradox using a graph

Joshua Vogelstein pointed me to this post by Michael Nielsen on how to teach Simpson’s paradox. I don’t know if Nielsen (and others) are aware that people have developed some snappy graphical methods for displaying Simpson’s paradox (and, more generally, aggregation issues). We do some this in our Red State Blue State book, but before […]

How literature is like statistical reasoning: Kosara on stories. Gelman and Basbøll on stories.

In “Story: A Definition,” visual analysis researcher Robert Kosara writes: A story ties facts together. There is a reason why this particular collection of facts is in this story, and the story gives you that reason. provides a narrative path through those facts. In other words, it guides the viewer/reader through the world, rather than just throwing […]

Am I too negative?

For background, you can start by reading my recent article, Is It Possible to Be an Ethicist Without Being Mean to People? and then a blog post, Quality over Quantity, by John Cook, who writes: At one point [Ed] Tufte spoke more generally and more personally about pursuing quality over quantity. He said most papers […]

A statistical graphics course and statistical graphics advice

Dean Eckles writes: Some of my coworkers at Facebook and I have worked with Udacity to create an online course on exploratory data analysis, including using data visualizations in R as part of EDA. The course has now launched at so anyone can take it for free. And Kaiser Fung has reviewed it. So definitely feel free […]

An Economist’s Guide to Visualizing Data

Stephen Jenkins wrote: I was thinking that you and your blog readers might be interested in “An Economist’s Guide to Visualizing Data” by Jonathan Schwabish, in the most recent Journal of Economic Perspectives (which is the American Economic Association’s main “outreach” journal in some ways). I replied: Ooh, I hate this so much! This seems […]

“Guys who do more housework get less sex”

Sometimes I have a few minutes where I can work, but I don’t feel like working. So I follow the blogroll, this time from here to here: Sabino Kornrich, Julie Brines, Katrina Leupp. Egalitarianism, Housework, and Sexual Frequency in Marriage American Sociological Review February 2013 vol. 78 no. 1 26-50 doi: 10.1177/0003122412472340 Data are from Wave […]

Infoviz on top of stat graphic on top of spreadsheet

Kaiser points to this infoviz from MIT’s Technology Review: Kaiser writes: What makes the designer want to tilt the reader’s head? This chart is unreadable. It also fails the self-sufficiency test. All 13 data points are printed onto the chart. You really don’t need the axis, and the gridlines. A further design flaw is the […]

How to display multinominal logit results graphically?

Adriana Lins de Albuquerque writes: Do you have any suggestions for the best way to represent multinominal logit results graphically? I am using stata. My reply: I don’t know from Stata, but here are my suggestions: 1. If the categories are unordered, break them up into a series of binary choices in a tree structure […]


There’s lots of overlap but I put each paper into only one category.  Also, I’ve included work that has been published in 2013 as well as work that has been completed this year and might appear in 2014 or later.  So you can can think of this list as representing roughly two years’ work. Political […]