I previously referenced
Donald Sharpe’s idea of a statistics maven
: people with one foot in a science field and one foot in statistics, who frequently act as a conduit for new quantitative innovations. Afterward I had an email exchange with someone who wanted to know how to become a maven, and I had to pass along the news that he probably already was. As a public service to others with similar concerns, I thought I should gather together the most probable symptoms (pending a comprehensive program of construct validation research, of course). Here at the top ten signs that you are a statistics maven:
10. You have installed R packages just to see what they do.
9. Your biggest regret from undergrad is a tossup between that person you never asked out and not taking more math.
8. You call the statistics you learned in grad school “frequentist statistics” and not just “statistics.”
7. People who are not quantitative psychologists call you a quantitative psychologist. Continue reading
A recent study provides some new insights into the personality traits of dominant and submissive BDSM practitioners. Dominant practitioners seem to be more calm and have a greater desire for control, while submissive ones may be more emotional and introverted. Some questions remain about how these findings compare to previous studies into this fascinating world.
[This is the first of a two-part series motivating and introducing precis, a Python package for automated abbreviation of psychometric measures. In part I, I motivate the search for shorter measures by arguing that internal consistency is highly overrated. In part II, I describe some software that makes it relatively easy to act on this newly-acquired disregard by gleefully sacrificing internal consistency at the altar of automated abbreviation. If you’re interested in this general topic but would prefer a slightly
less ridiculous more academic treatment, read this paper with Hedwig Eisenbarth and Scott Lilienfeld, or take a look at look at the demo IPython notebook.
Developing a new questionnaire measure is a tricky business. There are multiple objectives one needs to satisfy simultaneously. Two important ones are:
- The measure should be reliable. Validity is bounded by reliability; a highly unreliable measure cannot support valid inferences, and is largely useless as a research instrument.
- The measure should be as short as is practically possible. Time is money, and nobody wants to sit around filling out a 300-item measure if a 60-item version will do.
Unfortunately, these two objectives are in tension with one another to some degree. Continue reading
A recent paper has claimed that eating disorder symptoms, such as anorexia and bulimia are manifestations of an "extreme female brain". The evidence is actually confusing because some of the results apply more clearly to males than females. Gender stereotyped descriptions of "male" versus "female" brain types may be misleading.
Have you seen the lame pictures? Are the stresses of the presidency aging and weakening President Obama? Now that he is 50, what are his chances for a long life?
Does science add to what we know from philosophy and religion about the good life?