344 posts tagged with statistics.
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50 shades of gray: A research story

Psychologists recount a valuable lesson about the fragility of statistical validity and the state of publishing. "Two of the present authors, Matt Motyl and Brian A. Nosek, share interests in political ideology. We were inspired by the fast growing literature on embodiment that demonstrates surprising links between body and mind to investigate embodiment of political extremism. Participants from the political left, right, and center (N = 1,979) completed a perceptual judgment task in which words were presented in different shades of gray. Participants had to click along a gradient representing grays from near black to near white to select a shade that matched the shade of the word. We calculated accuracy: How close to the actual shade did participants get? The results were stunning. Moderates perceived the shades of gray more accurately than extremists on the left and right (p = .01). Our conclusion: Political extremists perceive the world in black and white figuratively and literally. Our design and follow-up analyses ruled out obvious alternative explanations such as time spent on task and a tendency to select extreme responses. Enthused about the result, we identified Psychological Science as our fallback journal after we toured the Science, Nature, and PNAS rejection mills. The ultimate publication, Motyl and Nosek (2012), served as one of Motyl’s signature publications as he finished graduate school and entered the job market. The story is all true, except for the last sentence; we did not publish the finding." [more inside]
posted by MisantropicPainforest on Jul 29, 2013 - 19 comments

US Energy & Carbon Flows

Estimated US Energy Use in 2012: 95.1 Quads - "Energy flow charts show the relative size of primary energy resources and end uses in the United States, with fuels compared on a common energy unit basis." (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jul 28, 2013 - 12 comments

Questions. Morbidity. Incept dates.

Detroit, New Orleans, Oakland... some of the safer places in America to live! Sure, big cities might have more murders per capita... but residents in large cities are *MUCH* safer when it comes to injury deaths than those living in more rural parts of America, according to a new study in The Annals of Emergency Medicine.
"Cars, guns and drugs are the unholy trinity causing the majority of injury deaths . . . Although the risk of homicide is higher in big cities, the risk of unintentional injury death is 40 percent higher in the most rural areas than in the most urban. And overall, the rate of unintentional injury dwarfs the risk of homicide, with the rate of unintentional injury more than 15 times that of homicide among the entire population."
posted by markkraft on Jul 25, 2013 - 71 comments

The Department Of War Math

You Are Not So Smart: Survivorship Bias, demonstrated through Abraham Wald's work at the Statistical Research Group in World War 2. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 6, 2013 - 48 comments

Mischievous or Mischievious?

Interactive map of pronunciation and use of various words and phrases differs by region in the US. Based on Bert Vaux's online survey of English dialects, the program allows you to see results for individual cities, as well as nationwide (though inexplicably it does not include Alaska or Hawaii).
posted by Cash4Lead on Jun 5, 2013 - 133 comments

Cameras, Cartography and Competition

PITCHF/x and SportVU data analysis shows... [more inside]
posted by Groundhog Week on May 18, 2013 - 7 comments

Mostly Smith and Jones with the occasional Patel

A zoomable map of the most common surnames in Great Britain, based on the electoral rolls.
posted by MartinWisse on May 5, 2013 - 39 comments

In a few cases, the start dates are well-informed guesses

Predicting Google Shutdowns. "In the following essay, I collect data on 350 Google products and look for predictive variables. I find some while modeling shutdown patterns, and make some predictions about future shutdowns. Hopefully the results are interesting, useful, or both." Gwern exhaustively analyzes Google products past and present with an eye to establishing what's not long for the bitverse. tl;dr? Results.
posted by mwhybark on May 4, 2013 - 89 comments

Peace is liberty in tranquillity

The UK Peace Index [PDF], a new publication from The Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), has produced a startling new headline: against public perceptions of crime, both crime and homicide have fallen significantly. The fall over the last decade has resulted in the UK homicide rate now being roughly equivalent to that of the Western European average, and it is now at its lowest level since 1978. [more inside]
posted by MuffinMan on Apr 24, 2013 - 30 comments

Dow tanks briefly after fake AP tweet

The Dow tumbled nearly 150 points this afternoon after a fake tweet about White House explosions was posted from the AP's hacked twitter account. Markets recovered almost completely after the AP clarified that the news was false.
posted by Westringia F. on Apr 23, 2013 - 134 comments

Generation Y

31 percent of employers involved reported parents submitted resumes on behalf of their offspring and 14 other things you should know about the Millennial genearation.
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Apr 18, 2013 - 162 comments

Material Poverty & Privilege in India

What would a poverty map of India look like?
posted by Gyan on Apr 14, 2013 - 10 comments

Intelligence Tests

Is Psychometric g a Myth? - "As an online discussion about IQ or general intelligence grows longer, the probability of someone linking to statistician Cosma Shalizi's essay g, a Statistical Myth approaches 1. Usually the link is accompanied by an assertion to the effect that Shalizi offers a definitive refutation of the concept of general mental ability, or psychometric g." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Apr 11, 2013 - 113 comments

Brain games are bogus

"Brain training games don't actually make you smarter." Looking at recent meta-analyses and replication attempts of studies showing increased cognitive abilities gained from brain-training games, the New Yorker article comes to the conclusion that the results are suspect and these games haven't been shown to improve cognitive abilities broadly. Currently, brain training is a multi-million-dollar business.
posted by tykky on Apr 9, 2013 - 61 comments

The Dreams Of Big Data

Does Big Data Mean The Demise Of The Expert - And Intuition? - "Data-driven decisions are poised to augment or overrule human judgment." What Is Big Data? [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Mar 21, 2013 - 73 comments

De Moivre’s equation

The Most Dangerous Equation If you have never taken the time to read any statistics, then take the time to read this short chapter excerpt. In order to understand the world a bit more accurately and be able to interpret data for public policy, understanding De Moivre’s equation and sample variability is very significant.
posted by SollosQ on Mar 16, 2013 - 24 comments

Cox Models and Drag Queens

A survival analysis of RuPaul’s Drag Race. [more inside]
posted by Westringia F. on Mar 14, 2013 - 43 comments

Some call it whining. I call it facts.

Today, VIDA (Women in Literary Arts) published their annual VIDA count, breaking down the treatment of women in literature in 2012 and the past three years of trends.
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Mar 4, 2013 - 11 comments

“...but the numbers are unbelievable.”

"The Holocaust Just Got More Shocking" [NYTimes.com]
"The researchers have cataloged some 42,500 Nazi ghettos and camps throughout Europe, spanning German-controlled areas from France to Russia and Germany itself, during Hitler’s reign of brutality from 1933 to 1945."

posted by Fizz on Mar 2, 2013 - 61 comments

Sense About Science

With a database of over 5,000 scientists, from Nobel prize winners to postdocs and PhD students, Sense About Science works in partnership with scientific bodies, research publishers, policy makers, the public and the media, to change public discussions about science and evidence. They make these scientists available for questions from civic organizations and the public looking for scientific advice from experts, campaign for the promotion of scientific principles in public policy, and publish neat guides to understanding science intended for laypeople. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Feb 28, 2013 - 9 comments

Psycho History, it's what they wanna give me

Psychohistory, the imaginary scientific field created by Isaac Asimov in his "Foundation" series, may no longer be fiction:
Song Chaoming, for instance, is a researcher at Northeastern University in Boston. He is a physicist, but he moonlights as a social scientist. With that hat on he has devised an algorithm which can look at someone’s mobile-phone records and predict with an average of 93% accuracy where that person is at any moment of any day. Given most people’s regular habits (sleep, commute, work, commute, sleep), this might not seem too hard. What is impressive is that his accuracy was never lower than 80% for any of the 50,000 people he looked at.
Full article at The Economist.
posted by Strange Interlude on Feb 26, 2013 - 39 comments

Wikipedia page view analysis 2012

"The best way to reach the highest levels of Wikipedia popularity are to be a celebrity who (a) dies, or (b) plays the Super Bowl halftime show". Examining the popularity of Wikipedia articles: catalysts, trends, and applications. See also the annotated Top 25 Report. Previously: Wikipedia in 2012.
posted by stbalbach on Feb 6, 2013 - 11 comments

Nuts

Yesterday, the Nielsen Company released a report showing that same-sex partnered households in America shop about 16% more than the average US household. Broken down into categories, Nielsen observes that gay couples drink a ton, while lesbian couples eat an awful lot of cottage cheese.
posted by schmod on Jan 31, 2013 - 63 comments

Don't Tell Hillary Swank

Hilary/Hillary: The Most Poisoned Baby Name in US History in which Hilary Parker, Ph.D. candidate in Biostatistics at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, uses her statistical mojo to determine just how unique was the drop-off of babies named Hilary/Hillary the year after Bill Clinton was elected President.
posted by oneswellfoop on Jan 30, 2013 - 83 comments

Instrumental lying by parents in the US and China

The practice of lying to one's children to encourage behavioral compliance was investigated among parents in the US (N = 114) and China (N = 85). The vast majority of parents (84% in the US and 98% in China) reported having lied to their children for this purpose. Within each country, the practice most frequently took the form of falsely threatening to leave a child alone in public if he or she refused to follow the parent. Crosscultural differences were seen: A larger proportion of the parents in China reported that they employed instrumental lie-telling to promote behavioral compliance, and a larger proportion approved of this practice, as compared to the parents in the US. This difference was not seen on measures relating to the practice of lying to promote positive feelings, or on measures relating to statements about fantasy characters such as the tooth fairy. Findings are discussed with reference to sociocultural values and certain parenting-related challenges that extend across cultures. [HTML] -- [PDF] [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Jan 23, 2013 - 82 comments

Could I BE having any less sex?

The One Where Someone Calculated How Many People The Friends Slept With and a graph. (via)
posted by crossoverman on Jan 4, 2013 - 30 comments

Wonky graphs of 2012

2012: The year in graphs - as picked by the Washington Post Wonkblog's favorite economists, political scientist, politicians and other wonkys.
posted by Artw on Dec 28, 2012 - 17 comments

291 diseases and injuries + 67 risk factors + 1,160 non-fatal complications = 650 million estimates of how we age, sicken, and die

As humans live longer, what ails us isn't necessarily what kills us: five data visualizations of how we age, sicken, and die. Causes of death by age, sex, region, and year. Heat map of leading causes and risks by region. Changes in leading causes and risks between 1990 and 2010. Healthy years lost to disability vs. life expectancy in 1990 and 2010. Uncertainties of causes and risks. From the team for the massive Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2010. [more inside]
posted by hat on Dec 14, 2012 - 11 comments

direct realism

The Nature of Computation - Intellects Vast and Warm and Sympathetic: "I hand you a network or graph, and ask whether there is a path through the network that crosses each edge exactly once, returning to its starting point. (That is, I ask whether there is a 'Eulerian' cycle.) Then I hand you another network, and ask whether there is a path which visits each node exactly once. (That is, I ask whether there is a 'Hamiltonian' cycle.) How hard is it to answer me?" (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Dec 1, 2012 - 19 comments

Skill-Luck Continuum

"We have little trouble recognizing that a chess grandmaster’s victory over a novice is skill, as well as assuming that Paul the octopus’s ability to predict World Cup games is due to chance. But what about everything else?" [Luck and Skill Untangled: The Science of Success]
posted by vidur on Nov 20, 2012 - 16 comments

How happy are we?

The UK Office of National Statistics is measuring and reporting on more than just money as a measure of national success The ONS has started a process of measuring and reporting on national wellbeing. They've also made some very pretty animations with the information
posted by Gilgongo on Nov 20, 2012 - 11 comments

What's gonna happen outside the window next?

Noam Chomsky on Where Artificial Intelligence Went Wrong
posted by cthuljew on Nov 18, 2012 - 55 comments

Sasha Issenberg: the new science of winning campaigns

A Vast Left-Wing Competency: "How Democrats became the party of effective campaigning — and why the GOP isn’t catching up anytime soon." Sasha Issenberg, author of The Victory Lab, has been writing a series of posts on Slate that focus on different aspects of "the new science of winning campaigns". [more inside]
posted by flex on Nov 8, 2012 - 103 comments

Most children: 13 - Samwise Gamgee & Rose Cotton

Lord Of The Rings: Statistics (part of LOTRProject)
posted by the man of twists and turns on Oct 23, 2012 - 23 comments

A Handsome Atlas: 19th Century Data Visualizations

Rank of states and territories in population at each census: 1790 - 1890
Political History (Supremecy of Parties and Popular Vote)
Insanity (1870)
and more at
A Handsome Atlas: The Amazing and Incredible Statistical Atlases of the United States of America compiled in the final decades of the Nineteenth Century. [via projects]
posted by carsonb on Sep 12, 2012 - 11 comments

The Association of Religion Data Archives: Churchgoers give far less than they think

"Parting with treasure easier said than done: Churchgoers give far less than they think" is the latest feature article from the Association of Religion Data Archives, which "strives to democratize access to the best data on religion." The site includes a browsable archive of religious survey data, a quick statistical roundup, international religious profiles, feature articles on topics like the rise of Mormons, Muslims and nondenominational churches in the USA ("nondenominational and independent churches may now be considered the third largest religious group in the country...Only the Catholic Church and the Southern Baptist Convention are larger"), links to sources like the 2010 U.S. Religious Census, a Religion Research Hub (with tutorials and helpful advice on best practices when theorizing, conceptualizing and measuring religious behavior) and lots more.
posted by mediareport on Aug 30, 2012 - 25 comments

Just in time for Football Manager 2013

As you know, Bob, Bill James revolutionised baseball with sabermetrics, statistical analyisis of how the game is actually played. In football (soccer that is) this revolution is long overdue, as it has largely lagged behind American sports in its use of data analysis. Now however there's a chance for somebody clever to become football's Bill James, as Manchester City is going to release all player data and analysises from the 2011-12 season.
posted by MartinWisse on Aug 16, 2012 - 50 comments

Quantifying the Gender Gap in Philosophy

Molly Paxton, Carrie Figdor, and Valerie Tiberius have a new paper in Hypatia quantifying the gender gap in philosophy (pdf). [more inside]
posted by Jonathan Livengood on Jul 30, 2012 - 51 comments

"Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men."

It's Not Just NYC: Across America, Only Black and Brown People Get Arrested for Pot - "New York City (previously), the pot-bust capital of the Western world, is notorious for the racial skewing (previously) of its marijuana arrests. Over the last 15 years, more than 85 percent of the half-million-plus people charged with misdemeanor possession there have been black or Latino. But the racial ratios of reefer roundups are equally extreme—if not worse—in scores of other U.S. cities." Same (trailer) as it (PDF) ever was? (video)
posted by mrgrimm on Jul 24, 2012 - 60 comments

Stop measuring happiness!

Happyism: The Creepy New Economics of Pleasure. Economist Dierdre McCloskey, in the New Republic, digs into the mathematical underpinnings of the scientific study of happiness. Executive summary: she doesn't like what she finds.
posted by escabeche on Jun 17, 2012 - 26 comments

Is innumeracy harming the quality of medical care?

Since the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommended against screening for prostate cancer, the debate has been furious. In fact, screening rates are likely to remain high, because most urologists disagree with the recommendations. One argued, "If you don’t do it, it’s negligent." (The debate is not new. Previously on Metafilter.) [more inside]
posted by Mr.Know-it-some on Jun 12, 2012 - 38 comments

Tails of the unexpected

Tails of the Unexpected: "Normality has been an accepted wisdom in economics and finance for a century or more. Yet in real-world systems, nothing could be less normal than normality. Tails should not be unexpected, for they are the rule." An eminently human-readable explanation of why normal models fail to describe the uncertainties of our abnormal world. [more inside]
posted by ecmendenhall on Jun 9, 2012 - 19 comments

Teach them well and let them lead the way

According to the U.S. census bureau, from July 2010 to July 2011, more than half of all babies born were members of minority groups, a first for the United States. [more inside]
posted by cashman on May 16, 2012 - 59 comments

37 ways to procrastinate but tell yourself you are working

37 Data-ish blogs you should know about
posted by shothotbot on May 4, 2012 - 10 comments

"It All Turns On Affection"

Last night, author and farmer Wendell Berry delivered a powerful lecture [video; full text here includes portions not delivered verbally] to a full house on the occasion of his accepting the National Endowment of the Humanities' Jefferson Award. The famous PC holdout has appeared previously in the blue, but this lecture is not to be missed. Here is soul nourishment for the long-time Berry follower, and for the newcomer a superb introduction to one of our time's greatest intellects. [more inside]
posted by maniabug on Apr 25, 2012 - 27 comments

Francis Galton

galton.org is an exhaustive website devoted to the life and works of the statistical pioneer and "father of eugenics" Francis Galton, inventor of the scatterplot, the correlation coefficient, fingerprint identification, and who knows what else. Almost all of Galton's books and papers are reproduced here, some in scanned form and some in searchable .pdf, from his major books to his letters to Pigeon Fancier's Journal. A short selection after the fold. [more inside]
posted by escabeche on Apr 25, 2012 - 11 comments

To read or not to read

How to read a paper is a series by Trisha Greenhalgh in BMJ, the British Medical Journal, that explains how to critically read and apply the biomedical literature. Deciding what the paper is about. Assessing methodological quality. Statistics for the non-statistician: parts I and II. Drug trials, diagnostic and screening tests, economic analyses, systematic reviews and meta-analyses (PDF), and qualitative research (PDF).
posted by grouse on Apr 19, 2012 - 14 comments

The Cox Proportional Hazard Model on Fire

The Hunger Games Survival Analysis is kinda neat, but also an interesting use of statistics (a basic chi-square test and a more sophisticated survival analysis) in solving not-quite-real world problems. In this case, whether the Lottery in the Hunger Games was rigged and what factors predict the winner of the Games. This work joins a tradition of analyses of the world of Panem, such as whether the economy was realistic, the problems of teserrae inflation, and this (slightly problematic, as the first link points out) application of game theory. [more inside]
posted by blahblahblah on Apr 12, 2012 - 10 comments

Oops, I may have added a few zeroes

“I bought into this idea for a long time that it was superior labor productivity that caused most manufacturing job losses,” said Rob Atkinson, of Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a nonpartisan think tank. “Then I began to dig into the numbers.” An upcoming report argues that the price savings that U.S. factories have realized from outsourcing have incorrectly shown up as gains in U.S. output and productivity. This bias may have accounted for as much as half of the growth of U.S. manufacturing output from 1997 to 2007. (sl Wash. Post link to print version so everyone can read it.)
posted by Benny Andajetz on Mar 19, 2012 - 27 comments

88 cents for the same job

Just in time for International Womens Day, it's Narrow the Gap, a look at the unbalanced payrolls of American workers based on US Department of Labor statistics from a variety of industries.
posted by mathowie on Mar 8, 2012 - 42 comments

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