Christopher Chabris reviewed the new book by Malcolm Gladwell: One thing “David and Goliath” shows is that Mr. Gladwell has not changed his own strategy, despite serious criticism of his prior work. What he presents are mostly just intriguing possibilities and musings about human behavior, but what his publisher sells them as, and what his […]
Atul Gawande (the thinking man’s Malcolm Gladwell) asks: Why do some innovations spread so swiftly and others so slowly? Consider the very different trajectories of surgical anesthesia and antiseptics, both of which were discovered in the nineteenth century. The first public demonstration of anesthesia was in 1846. The Boston surgeon Henry Jacob Bigelow was approached […]
People keep pointing me to this excellent news article by David Brown, about a scientist who was convicted of data manipulation: In all, 330 patients were randomly assigned to get either interferon gamma-1b or placebo injections. Disease progression or death occurred in 46 percent of those on the drug and 52 percent of those on […]
Someone sent me the following email: I am an environmental journalist writing an Environmental Science 101 textbook and I’m currently working on the section on hypothesis testing and statistical significance. I am searching for a story to make the importance of thinking statistically come alive for the students, ideally one from the environmental sciences. I’m […]
Difficulties of using statistical significance (or lack thereof) to sift through and compare research hypotheses
Dean Eckles writes: Thought you might be interested in an example that touches on a couple recurring topics: 1. The difference between a statistically significant finding and one that is non-significant need not be itself statistically significant (thus highlighting the problems of using NHST to declare whether an effect exists or not). 2. Continued issues […]
Diederik Stapel gives a Ted talk. Sometimes, reality truly is a parody of reality.
Is coffee a killer? I don’t think the effect is as high as was estimated from the highest number that came out of a noisy study
Thomas Lumley writes: The Herald has a story about hazards of coffee. The picture caption says Men who drink more than four cups a day are 56 per cent more likely to die. which is obviously not true: deaths, as we’ve observed before, are fixed at one per customer. The story says It’s not that people […]
He’s adult entertainer, Child educator, King of the crossfader, He’s the greatest of the greater, He’s a big bad wolf in your neighborhood, Not bad meaning bad but bad meaning good
An offhand mention in this recent post motivated me to google Evilicious. And this is what I found: From the prologue: The idea I [Hauser] develop is that evildoers are made in much the same way that addicts are made. Both processes start with unsatisfied desires. Whether it is a taste for violence or a […]
Nassim Taleb adds this link to the Dobelli story. I’m confused. I thought Swiss dudes were supposed to plagiarize their own stuff, not rip off other people’s. Whassup with that?
Psychology researcher Chris Chabris writes: Rolf Dobelli, a Swiss writer, published a book called The Art of Thinking Clearly earlier this year with HarperCollins in the U.S. The book’s original German edition was a #1 bestseller, and the book has sold over one million copies worldwide. In perusing Mr. Dobelli’s book, we noticed several familiar-sounding […]