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Archive of posts filed under the Zombies category.

Study published in 2011, followed by successful replication in 2003 [sic]

This one is like shooting fish in a barrel but sometimes the job just has to be done. . . . The paper is by Daryl Bem, Patrizio Tressoldi, Thomas Rabeyron, and Michael Duggan, it’s called “Feeling the Future: A Meta-Analysis of 90 Experiments on the Anomalous Anticipation of Random Future Events,” and it begins […]

“How to disrupt the multi-billion dollar survey research industry”

David Rothschild (coauthor of the Xbox study, the Mythical Swing Voter paper, and of course the notorious Aapor note) will be speaking Friday 10 Oct in the Economics and Big Data meetup in NYC. His title: “How to disrupt the multi-billion dollar survey research industry: information aggregation using non-representative polling data.” Should be fun! P.P.S. […]

Some will spam you with a six-gun and some with a fountain pen

A few weeks ago the following came in the email: Dear Professor Gelman, I am writing you because I am a prospective doctoral student with considerable interest in your research. My name is Xian Zhao, but you can call me by my English name Alex, a student from China. My plan is to apply to […]

They know my email but they don’t know me

This came (unsolicited) in the inbox today (actually, two months ago; we’re on a delay, as you’re probably aware), subject line “From PWC – animations of CEO opinions for 2014″: Good afternoon, I wanted to see if the data my colleague David sent to you was of any interest. I have attached here additional animated […]

More bad news for the buggy-whip manufacturers

In a news article regarding difficulties in using panel surveys to measure the unemployment rate, David Leonhardt writes: The main factor is technology. It’s a major cause of today’s response-rate problems – but it’s also the solution. For decades, survey research has revolved around the telephone, and it’s worked very well. But Americans’ relationship with […]

He just ordered a translation from Diederik Stapel

Fernando Martel Garcia writes: So I am applying for a DC driver’s license and needed a translation of my Spanish license to show to the DMV. I go to and as I prepare to pay I see a familiar face in the bottom banner: It appears Stapel is one of their “over 15,000 dedicated […]

“It’s as if you went into a bathroom in a bar and saw a guy pissing on his shoes, and instead of thinking he has some problem with his aim, you suppose he has a positive utility for getting his shoes wet”

The notion of a geocentric universe has come under criticism from Copernican astronomy. . . . A couple months ago in a discussion of differences between econometrics and statistics, I alluded to the well-known fact that everyday uncertainty aversion can’t be explained by a declining marginal utility of money. What really bothers me—it’s been bothering […]

How Many Mic’s Do We Rip

Yakir Reshef writes: Our technical comment on Kinney and Atwal’s paper on MIC and equitability has come out in PNAS along with their response. Similarly to Ben Murrell, who also wrote you a note when he published a technical comment on the same work, we feel that they “somewhat missed the point.” Specifically: one statistic […]

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 […]

If it was good enough for Martin Luther King and Laurence Tribe . . .

People keep pointing me to this. P.S. I miss the old days when people would point me to bad graphs.