What I’m Reading: April 2019

Familiar topics in this Nature article, but a good title….the Four Horsemen of the Reproducibility Crisis. P-hacking, low power, publication bias and HARKing (oh my!).

Given my ongoing interest in YouTube search results, I found this profile of the YouTube CEO quite fascinating.

A little late to the party, but I loved the WaPo “Mueller Book Report” take.

Related to the two above, a Twitter thread about which videos about the Mueller report got recommended the most by YouTube.

This article debates the current assertion that religious affiliation is going down, and caused a lot of discussion in an email group I’m part of this week. The basic argument seems to be that the rise of the “no affiliation” label is coming mostly by way of those who previously claimed to be religious but reported they never went to church, so the core of religious sentiment remains unchanged. I’ll admit I’m unconvinced by this. The underlying paper suggests that religious behavior (going to church, etc) are holding steady among the religious, which goes counter to the idea that the label-without-participating people are the only ones who left. If they were, we’d expect to see the remaining religious people engaging in MORE religious behavior, as the lower tier wouldn’t be bringing down the average any more. Still, it isn’t wrong to point out that the typical “nones are on the rise!” story may have been oversold.

The Calling Bullshit guys posted that there’s a new entry in to the field of bullshit studies: Bullshitters, who are they and what do we know about their lives? This clever paper asked people about themselves, then asked them about their knowledge levels for 16 statistical/mathematical techniques. 3 of them (Proper Number, Subjective Scaling and Declarative Fraction) were fake. The study was done on teenagers in 9 countries. Findings: boys are much more likely to bullshit than girls in all countries, high socioeconomic status kids were more likely to bullshit than lower SES kids in all countries, immigrants are sometimes more likely to bullshit, sometimes not depending on the country, the US and Canada are huge bullshitters. Bullshitters were more to rank themselves as good in other things (popularity, mathematical ability) and interestingly, more likely to give “right” answers when asked how they would solve a problem. For example, when asked what they’d do if their cell phone broke, they say they’d first consult the manual rather than “push all the buttons to see if it turns back on”. Now to note: all countries studied were WEIRD, but still an interesting paper.

 

 

4 thoughts on “What I’m Reading: April 2019

  1. I went to callingbullshit.org per your reference in the article. I looked at the info available and hope to pursue. Plus the links you referenced should be “interesting” reading. Thanks.

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  2. Wow! I started following your blog about 3 months ago and am enjoying it very much. But the link above–who would have guessed or should I have suspected as much–in any event, Thanks again, it should be both educational and fun.

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