follow CCP

Recent blog entries
popular papers

Science Curiosity and Political Information Processing

What Is the "Science of Science Communication"?

Climate-Science Communication and the Measurement Problem

Ideology, Motivated Cognition, and Cognitive Reflection: An Experimental Study

'Ideology' or 'Situation Sense'? An Experimental Investigation of Motivated Reasoning and Professional Judgment

A Risky Science Communication Environment for Vaccines

Motivated Numeracy and Enlightened Self-Government

Making Climate Science Communication Evidence-based—All the Way Down 

Neutral Principles, Motivated Cognition, and Some Problems for Constitutional Law 

Cultural Cognition of Scientific Consensus

The Tragedy of the Risk-Perception Commons: Science Literacy and Climate Change

"They Saw a Protest": Cognitive Illiberalism and the Speech-Conduct Distinction 

Geoengineering and the Science Communication Environment: a Cross-Cultural Experiment

Fixing the Communications Failure

Why We Are Poles Apart on Climate Change

The Cognitively Illiberal State 

Who Fears the HPV Vaccine, Who Doesn't, and Why? An Experimental Study

Cultural Cognition of the Risks and Benefits of Nanotechnology

Whose Eyes Are You Going to Believe? An Empirical Examination of Scott v. Harris

Cultural Cognition and Public Policy

Culture, Cognition, and Consent: Who Perceives What, and Why, in "Acquaintance Rape" Cases

Culture and Identity-Protective Cognition: Explaining the White Male Effect

Fear of Democracy: A Cultural Evaluation of Sunstein on Risk

Cultural Cognition as a Conception of the Cultural Theory of Risk

« The Next Frontier of Risk Perception: AI | Main | Combining Likert Categories and Embracing a Simulation-Based Mindset »

yellow statistics

With apologies to Coldplay, here's a lament for all the "stargazers" out there:

Look at the stars,
Look how they shine for you,
It’s what you want them to do,
Yeah, they were all yellow.

We go along,
We write our articles for you,
And one of the things we must do,
Is make them all yellow.

So we make our models,
Oh we twist them all around,
Until they’re all yellow.

Cause you always look
For significance,
Asterisks look so beautiful,
Asterisks, I know you love them so,
I know you love them so.

I tortured data,
I did all for you,
Oh what a thing to do.
Cos you want it all yellow,

I made a table,
I made a table for you,
Oh what a thing to do,
And it was all yellow.

Oh yeah you want asterisks,
You think it’s beautiful,
And you know for you,
I’ll ignore my data for you,
I’ll ignore my data.

Its true, look how they shine for you,
Look how they shine for you,
Look how they shine for,
Look how they shine for you,
Look how they shine for you,
Look how they shine.

Look at the stars,
Look how they shine for you,
It’s what you want them to do.

"Stargazers," for those not immersed in statistical analyses, are people who ignore just about everything in a statistical model except for the asterisks (stars) indicating levels of statistical significance in tables reporting regression results. 

Would a journal ever consider barring the use of tables and asterisks, instead requiring the reporting of practical effect estimates and confidence intervals?  I suspect not -- for reasons Alan Gerber, Don Green and David Nickerson reported years ago: people think statistical significance is more significant than it actually is. 

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>