P-Value Interpretation

If all else fails, use “significant at p>0.05 level” and hope no one notices.
xkcd by Randall Munroe

I can’t say that I ever thought about doing this, but I can admit feeling enormous stress proofreading for “less than” signs pointing the wrong direction – an anxiety that may have been justified on more than one occassion.

xkcd by Randall Munroe (CC BY-NC 2.5)

Modern Statistics make the absurd appear significant

This is too good not to share, from a preprint by Andrew Gelman and Eric Loken, “The garden of forking paths: Why multiple comparisons can be a problem, even when there is no ‘fishing expedition’ or ‘p-hacking’ and the research hypothesis was posited ahead of time”

Without modern statistics, we find it unlikely that people would take seriously a claim about the general population of women, based on two survey questions asked to 100 volunteers on the internet and 24 college students. But with the p-value, a result can be declared significant and deemed worth publishing in a leading journal in psychology.

The paper is here (PDF).

Chance & Necessity in Baseball

I know people don’t like whiners…but the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Last night, my very clichéd gripe about the abuse of statistics perpetrated by broadcasters of playoff baseball spun into a discussion of statistics and probability, including the contribution of computational models from renowned and/or infamous UC Berkeley faculty. As one is obligated to do in such situations, I Storify-ed it (and continue to as the conversation, like the playoffs, is ongoing).
Image from xkcd by Randall Munroe (Creative Commons BY-NC 2.5)
Image from xkcd by Randall Munroe (Creative Commons BY-NC 2.5)

Power Up!

Blackboard with mathematics sketches - vector illustrationStatistical Power! It sounds like something a math textbook superhero would exclaim while collecting data points. I’ll be honest, even though I have a PhD, my stats background is very weak. My college major required all sorts of delightful calculus and differential equations but I’ve never taken a statistics course. My graduate work required only the most basic of statistical analysis (which lucky for me, our software could handle without my input). It turns out that I am not alone, and this is a major problem. Continue reading “Power Up!”

Linkonomicon VI

via Maria Popova

via Ashley J Yeager

PDF link – via Cory Doctorow