Saturday, November 07, 2009

Applied Statistics over at ScienceBlogs   posted by Razib @ 11/07/2009 07:19:00 PM

Just a reminder, Andrew Gelman is now blogging at ScienceBlogs under "Applied Statistics".

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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Andrew Gelman's "Applied Statistics"   posted by Razib @ 10/31/2009 05:01:00 PM

Andrew Gelman has started a new blog at ScienceBlogs, Applied Statistics. Someone should design him a header, perhaps a fancified Bayes' theorem?

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Next year a child! Or not....   posted by Razib @ 9/27/2009 12:54:00 AM

Earlier this year I put a reader survey. One thing that stuck out was now few children readers of this weblog had. Here's a comparison with other demographics from the GSS:

 Mean Number of Children For Men By For Age Classes GSS, 2000-2008, Males Only Age GNXP N GNXP All Males Bachelor's Degree Advanced Degree Atheists & Agnostics 18-25 84 0 0.24 0.09 (N too small, omitted) 0.28 26-35 140 0.21 1.06 0.53 0.68 0.8 36-45 97 0.9 1.79 1.73 1.56 1.29 46-65 108 1.57 2.22 1.93 2.06 1.82

Below the fold I've broken down by demographic for the GNXP male sample 46-65, which has an N of 108 total (though some questions were omitted for some individuals). I added the political extremes and centers together (e.g., Far Left + Center Left + Left = Left)

 GNXP Males 46-65 # Of Children N 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 Mean # Of Children Middle Class 43 0.3 0.23 0.3 0.09 0.05 0.02 0 1.4 Upper Middle Class 40 0.25 0.15 0.3 0.18 0.08 0.03 0.03 1.85 Graduate Degree 59 0.27 0.12 0.37 0.15 0.05 0.02 0.02 1.73 Undergraduate Degree 33 0.33 0.3 0.18 0.12 0.03 0.03 0 1.29 Left 38 - - - - - - - 1.76 Libertarian 32 - - - - - - - 1.74 Right 24 - - - - - - - 1.32 Christian 25 0.2 0.04 0.44 0.2 0.08 0.04 0 1.44 No Religion 72 0.35 0.24 0.25 0.1 0.06 0.01 0 1.33

Struck by the fact that GNXP male readers who are upper middle class have more children than those who are middle class (subjective definition of course), and, that those with graduate degrees have more children than those with only undergraduate degrees.

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Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Trends in journalism   posted by Razib @ 9/01/2009 11:28:00 PM

The Worst NYT Trend Story of the Year?:
Here's an early autumnal contender: Virginia Heffernan's entirely anecdotal story about a massive Facebook Exodus. How serious is this Facebook exodus? Heffernan explains:
The exodus is not evident from the site's overall numbers.

The exodus is not evident from the site's overall numbers! Some trend!

This is a serious problem. Anecdotes add spice to real data. As illustrations of something real. Too often journalism involves finding five people on the street who can agree with whatever "trend" you've made up. This reminds of how I was taught to write essays in Middle School, make up a thesis and find n facts to support the thesis. Who cares if those facts are representative of the distribution of facts in the real world! You got your thesis and you know what you are looking for. And secondarily, there is the problem of trends are so widely accepted as to become background assumptions, but which turn out to be false upon even cursory examination.

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