Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science

Latest articles

Basbøll’s Audenesque paragraph on science writing, followed by a resurrection of a 10-year-old debate on Gladwell

I pointed Thomas Basbøll to my recent post, “Science is science writing; science writing is science,” and he in turn pointed me to his post from a few years ago, “Scientific Writing and ‘Science Writing,'” which stirringly begins: For me, 2015 will be the year that I [Basbøll] finally lost all respect for “science writing”. He continues: “especially...

“We’ve got to look at the analyses, the real granular data. It’s always tough when you’re looking at a press release to figure out what’s going on.”

Chris Arderne writes: Surprised to see you hadn’t yet discussed the Oxford/AstraZeneca 60%/90% story on the blog. They accidentally changed the dose for some patients without an hypothesis, saw that it worked out better and are now (sort of) claiming 90% as a result… Sounds like your kind of investigation? I hadn’t heard about this so I googled...

Unfair to James Watson?

A reader writes: I usually enjoy your blog, but when I saw the first sentence of this recent post it left a bad taste that just didn’t go away. The post in question was titled, “New England Journal of Medicine engages in typical academic corporate ass-covering behavior,” and its first sentence began, “James Watson (not the racist dude who, in 1998,...

Bishops of the Holy Church of Embodied Cognition and editors of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Christ

Paul Alper points to a recent New York Times article about astrology as a sign that the world is going to hell in a handbasket. My reply: Astrology don’t bug me so much cos it doesn’t pretend to be science. I’m more bothered by PNAS-style fake science because it pretends to be real science. Same thing with religion. I don’t get so worked up about...

A very short statistical consulting story

I received the following email: Professor Gelman, My firm represents ** (Defendant) in a case pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of **. This case concerns [a topic in political science that you have written about]. I’ve reviewed your background and think that your research and interests, in particular your statistical background,...

2 PhD student positions on Bayesian workflow! With Paul Bürkner!

Paul Bürkner writes: The newly established work group for Bayesian Statistics of Dr. Paul-Christian Bürkner at the Cluster of Excellence SimTech, University of Stuttgart (Germany), is looking for 2 PhD students to work on Bayesian workflow and Stan-related topics. The positions are fully funded for at least 3 years and people with a Master’s degree...

Is causality as explicit in fake data simulation as it should be?

Sander Greenland recently published a paper with a very clear and thoughtful exposition on why causality, logic and context need full consideration in any statistical analysis, even strictly descriptive or predictive analysis. For instance, in the concluding section – “Statistical science (as opposed to mathematical statistics) involves far more than...

A new hot hand paradox

1. Effect sizes of just about everything are overestimated. Selection on statistical significance, motivation to find big effects to support favorite theories, researcher degrees of freedom, looking under the lamp-post, and various other biases. The Edlin factor is usually less than 1. (See here for a recent example.) 2. For the hot hand, it’s...

Further formalization of the “multiverse” idea in statistical modeling

Cristobal Young and Sheridan Stewart write: Social scientists face a dual problem of model uncertainty and methodological abundance. . . . This ‘uncertainty among abundance’ offers spiraling opportunities to discover a statistically significant result. The problem is acute when models with significant results are published, while those with non-significant...

Greek statistician is in trouble for . . . telling the truth!

Paul Alper points us to this news article by Catherine Rampell, which tells this story: Georgiou is not a mobster. He’s not a hit man or a spy. He’s a statistician. And the sin at the heart of his supposed crimes was publishing correct budget numbers. The government has brought a relentless series of criminal prosecutions against him. His countrymen...

Discover, share and read the best on the web

Subscribe to RSS Feeds, Blogs, Podcasts, Twitter searches, Facebook pages, even Email Newsletters! Get unfiltered news feeds or filter them to your liking.

Get Inoreader
Inoreader - Subscribe to RSS Feeds, Blogs, Podcasts, Twitter searches, Facebook pages, even Email Newsletters!