Someone points me to this report from Tilburg University on disgraced psychology researcher Diederik Stapel. The reports includes bits like this: When the fraud was first discovered, limiting the harm it caused for the victims was a matter of urgency. This was particularly the case for Mr Stapel’s former PhD students and postdoctoral researchers . [...]
“The scientific literature must be cleansed of everything that is fraudulent, especially if it involves the work of a leading academic”
Part 1. The ideal policy Basbøll, as always, gets right to the point: Andrew Gelman is not the plagiarism police because there is no such thing as the plagiarism police. But, he continues: There is, at any self-respecting university and any self-respecting academic journal, a plagiarism policy, and there sure as hell is a “morality” [...]
Tyler Cowen points to this news article by Lauren Sandler: Stunningly, the postponement of marriage and parenting — the factors that shrink the birth rate — is the very best predictor of a person’s politics in the United States, over even income and education levels, a Belgian demographer named Ron Lesthaeghe [and coauthor Lisa Neidert] [...]
Someone I don’t know writes in: I have followed your thoughts on plagiarism rather closely, and I ran across something in the Economics literature that I felt might interest you (and if you were to share this, I’d rather remain anonymous as a junior faculty not looking to step on toes anywhere). I know you [...]
I just finished reading an amusing but somewhat disturbing article by Mark Singer, a reporter for the New Yorker who follows in that magazine’s tradition of writing about amiable frauds. (For those who are keeping score at home, Singer employs a McKelway-style relaxed tolerance rather than Liebling-style pyrotechnics.) Singer’s topic was a midwestern dentist named [...]
I think I can best do my civic duty by running this one every Election Day, just like Art Buchwald on Thanksgiving. . . .
I made the mistake of googling myself (I know, I know . . .) and came across a couple of rude bloggers criticizing something I’d written. I don’t mind criticism, and lord knows I can be a rude blogger myself at times, but these criticisms were really bad, a mix of already-refuted arguments and new [...]
False-Positive Psychology: Undisclosed Flexibility in Data Collection and Analysis Allows Presenting Anything as Significant [I]t is unacceptably easy to publish “statistically significant” evidence consistent with any hypothesis. The culprit is a construct we refer to as researcher degrees of freedom. In the course of collecting and analyzing data, researchers have many decisions to make: Should [...]
Bayesian inference, conditional on the model and data, conforms to the likelihood principle. But there is more to Bayesian methods than Bayesian inference. See chapters 6 and 7 of Bayesian Data Analysis for much discussion of this point. It saddens me to see that people are still confused on this issue.
Steven Levitt says that he has a “good indicator” that Aaron Edlin, Noah Kaplan, Nate Silver, and I are “not so smart”
Andrew Perrin nails it: Twice a year, like clockwork, the ethics cops at the IRB [institutional review board, the group on campus that has to approve research involving human subjects] take a break from deciding whether or not radioactive isotopes can be administered to prison populations to cure restless-leg syndrome to dream up some fancy [...]
Recently in the sister blog: Niall Ferguson is a hack. Niall Ferguson is not always a hack, sometimes he just makes silly mistakes. Paul Krugman is not a hack, but he sometimes he goes over the top. Reflections on hacks. P.S. Yes, technically I’m misusing the expression, it should really be something like, “Watching the [...]
Life is continuous but we think in discrete terms. In applied statistics there’s the p=.05 line which tells us whether a finding is significant or not. Baseball has the Mendoza line. And academia has what might be called the John Yoo line: the point at which nothing you write gets taken seriously, and so you [...]
I have a great idea for a movie. Actually two movies based on two variants of a similar idea. It all started when I saw this story: Dr. Anil Potti, the controversial cancer researcher whose work at Duke University led to lawsuits from patients, is now a medical oncologist at the Cancer Center of North [...]
In our recent discussion of plagiarism and fake quotes, a commenter points to two recent posts by Mark Liberman (here and here) where Liberman links to about a zillion cases of journalists publishing quotes that were never said. He goes into some detail about two journalists from the New Yorker: Jared Diamond, who created quotes [...]
Dan Kahan writes on what seems to be the topic of the week: In reflecting on Lehrer, I [Kahan] have to wonder why the sanction is so much more severe — basically career “death penalty” subject to parole [I think he means "life imprisonment" --- ed.], I suppose, if he manages decades of “good behavior” [...]
John Mashey sends me this delightful video (not in English but it has subtitles) from the University of Bergen (link comes from this page from Elsevier but I don’t see any direct connection between the controversial academic publisher and the Bergen group). Part of me believes, deep down, that if someone were to send this [...]
I received the following two emails within fifteen minutes of each other. First, from “Alexa Russell,” subject line “An idea for a blog post: The Role, Importance, and Power of Words”: Hi Andrew, I’m a researcher/writer for a resource covering the importance of English proficiency in today’s workplace. I came across your blog andrewgelman.com as [...]
Roy Mendelssohn pointed me to this heartwarming story of Jay Vadiveloo, an actuary who got a patent for the idea of statistical sampling. Vadiveloo writes, “the results were astounding: statistical sampling worked.” You may laugh, but wait till Albedo Man buys the patent and makes everybody do his bidding. They’re gonna dig up Laplace and [...]
Cognitive psychology research helps us understand confusion of Jonathan Haidt and others about working-class voters
Here’s some psychology research that’s relevant to yesterday’s discussion on working-class voting. In a paper to appear in the journal Cognitive Science, Andrei Cimpian, Amanda Brandone, and Susan Gelman write: Generic statements (e.g., “Birds lay eggs”) express generalizations about categories. In this paper, we hypothesized that there is a paradoxical asymmetry at the core of [...]
Stop me before I aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Stephen Olivier points me to this horrible, horrible news article by Jonathan Haidt, “Why working-class people vote conservative”: Across the world, blue-collar voters ally themselves with the political right . . . Why on Earth would a working-class person ever vote for a conservative candidate? This question has obsessed the American left since Ronald Reagan [...]
Xian points me to this pitiful story. I hate that these people never just say they’re sorry, for wasting everyone’s time if for nothing else.
Two people separately sent me this amusing mock-research paper by Brian A. Nosek (I assume that’s what’s meant by “Arina K. Bones”). The article is pretty funny, but this poster (by Nosek and Samuel Gosling) is even better! Check it out: I remarked that this was almost as good as my zombies paper, and my [...]
I was given the opportunity to briefly comment on the paper, A Bayesian approach to complex clinical diagnoses: a case-study in child abuse, by Nicky Best, Deborah Ashby, Frank Dunstan, David Foreman, and Neil McIntosh, for the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society. Here is what I wrote: Best et al. are working on an [...]
Wegman: “It’s not reprinted 100 percent like you had it.” Wikipedia guy: “No, you added another paragraph at the end and you changed the headline. . . . You even copied the typos that I’ve corrected on my website. It was taken verbatim and reprinted in your paper.” The original author got a check for [...]