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Archive of posts filed under the Zombies category.

To understand the replication crisis, imagine a world in which everything was published.

John Snow points me to this post by psychology researcher Lisa Feldman Barrett who reacted to the recent news on the non-replication of many psychology studies with a contrarian, upbeat take, entitled “Psychology Is Not in Crisis.” Here’s Barrett: An initiative called the Reproducibility Project at the University of Virginia recently reran 100 psychology experiments […]

New paper on psychology replication

The Open Science Collaboration, a team led by psychology researcher Brian Nosek, organized the replication of 100 published psychology experiments. They report: A large portion of replications produced weaker evidence for the original findings despite using materials provided by the original authors, review in advance for methodological fidelity, and high statistical power to detect the […]

We provide a service

A friend writes: I got the attached solicitation [see below], and Google found me your blog post on the topic. Thank you for quickly explaining what’s going on here! As far as I can see, they’ve removed the mention of payment from this first contact message – so they’re learning! But also they have enough […]

Plaig! (non-Wegman edition)

Mark Vallen writes (link from here): What initially disturbed me about the art of Shepard Fairey is that it displays none of the line, modeling and other idiosyncrasies that reveal an artist’s unique personal style. His imagery appears as though it’s xeroxed or run through some computer graphics program; that is to say, it is […]

Wasting time reading old comment threads

I was linking to something and came across this hilarious thread, which culminated in this revelation by commenter Jrc: True story: after reading this post,, I started going to the Jamaican store around the corner. I was eating a lot of those things by the end. Its probably good that we moved.

The plagiarist (not; see correction below) next door strikes back: Different standards of plagiarism in different communities

Commenters on this blog sometimes tell me not to waste so much time talking about plagiarism. And in the grand scheme of things, what could be more trivial than plagiarism copying of errors with unclear citations in an obscure German book of chess anecdotes? Yet this is what I have come to talk with you […]


The following bit of irrelevance appeared on the stan-users mailing list: On Jun 11, 2015, at 11:29 AM, Joanna Caldwell wrote: Webinar: Tips & Tricks to Improve Your Logistic Regression . . . Registration Link: . . . Abstract: Logistic regression is a commonly used tool to analyze binary classification problems. However, logistic regression still […]

More gremlins: “Instead, he simply pretended the other two estimates did not exist. That is inexcusable.”

Brandon Shollenberger writes: I’ve spent some time examining the work done by Richard Tol which was used in the latest IPCC report.  I was troubled enough by his work I even submitted a formal complaint with the IPCC nearly two months ago (I’ve not heard back from them thus far).  It expressed some of the same concerns […]

A bad definition of statistical significance from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Effective Health Care Program

As D.M.C. would say, bad meaning bad not bad meaning good. Deborah Mayo points to this terrible, terrible definition of statistical significance from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality: Statistical Significance Definition: A mathematical technique to measure whether the results of a study are likely to be true. Statistical significance is calculated as the […]

Stan is Turing complete

Stan is Turing complete.

“Menstrual Cycle Phase Does Not Predict Political Conservatism”

Someone pointed me to this article by Isabel Scott and Nicholas Pound: Recent authors have reported a relationship between women’s fertility status, as indexed by menstrual cycle phase, and conservatism in moral, social and political values. We conducted a survey to test for the existence of a relationship between menstrual cycle day and conservatism. 2213 […]

Hey, this is what Michael Lacour should’ve done when they asked him for his data

Texas Town Is Charging Us $79,000 for Emails About Pool Party Abuse Cop. FOIA that, pal!

The David Brooks files: How many uncorrected mistakes does it take to be discredited?

OK, why am I writing this? We all know that New York Times columnist David Brooks deals in false statistics, he’s willing and able to get factual matters wrong, he doesn’t even fact-check his own reporting, his response when people point out his mistakes is irritation rather than thanks, he won’t run a correction even […]

Michael LaCour in 20 years

In case you were wondering what “Bruno” Lacour will be doing a couple decades from now . . . James Delaney pointed me to this CNN news article, “Connecticut’s strict gun law linked to large homicide drop” by Carina Storrs: The rate of gun-related murders fell sharply in the 10 years after Connecticut implemented a […]

Of buggy whips and moral hazards; or, Sympathy for the Aapor

We’ve talked before about those dark-ages classical survey sampling types who say you can’t do poop with opt-in samples. The funny thing is, these people do all sorts of adjustment themselves, in the sampling or in post-data weighting or both, to deal with the inevitable fact that the people you can actually reach when you […]

My final post on this Tony Blair thing

Gur Huberman writes on the recent fraud in experiments in polisci: This comment is a reaction to the little of the discussion which I [Gur] followed, mostly in the NYTimes. What I didn’t see anybody say is that the system actually worked. First, there’s a peer-reviewed report in Science. Then other people deem the results […]

John Bohannon’s chocolate-and-weight-loss hoax study actually understates the problems with standard p-value scientific practice

Several people pointed me to this awesome story by John Bohannon: “Slim by Chocolate!” the headlines blared. A team of German researchers had found that people on a low-carb diet lost weight 10 percent faster if they ate a chocolate bar every day. It made the front page of Bild, Europe’s largest daily newspaper, just […] > Huffington Post, Wall Street Journal, New York Times

David Christopher Bell goes to the trouble (link from Palko) to explain why “Every Map of ‘The Most Popular _________ by State’ Is Bullshit.” As long as enterprising P.R. firms are willing to supply unsourced data, lazy journalists (or whatever you call these people) will promote it. We saw this a few years ago in […]

Creativity is the ability to see relationships where none exist

Brent Goldfarb and Andrew King, in a paper to appear in the journal Strategic Management, write: In a recent issue of this journal, Bettis (2012) reports a conversation with a graduate student who forthrightly announced that he had been trained by faculty to “search for asterisks”. The student explained that he sifted through large databases […]

Weggy update: it just gets sadder and sadder

Uh oh, lots on research misconduct lately. Newest news is that noted Wikipedia-lifter Ed Wegman sued John Mashey, one of his critics, for $2 million dollars. Then he backed down and decided not to sue after all. Best quote from Mashey’s write-up: None of this made any sense to me, but then I am no […]