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« How to see replication (protective eyegear required) | Main | The earth is (still) round, even at P < 0.005 »

"Non-replicated"? The "motivated numeracy effect"?! Forgeddaboutit! 

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Reader Comments (5)


What is your opinion on the positive result from B&S - which seems like a replication of the effect much discussed by Mercier & Sperber (evaluation of reasons functions more rationally than generation of reasons)? Is their study still too underpowered for that as well?

August 28, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

@Jonathan-- I think the result is interesting but I know the literature on giving reasons is actually pretty broad, and I'm not sure how this fits in.
Yes, the sample still is a problem. Underpowered studies can generate misleadingly inflated effects, as Gelman has stressed and as psychologists seem to be catching on to. But just as bad is the use of students for a study like this. They are already high in measures of CRT & numeracy, etc. What is like for *those* types to "give reasons" could be very different from what it is like when people of modest cogntive reflection & other critical reasoning skills do same task.

August 29, 2017 | Registered CommenterDan Kahan

To Jonathan's second question:

"A study with low statistical power has a reduced chance of detecting a true effect, but it is less well appreciated that low power also reduces the likelihood that a statistically significant result reflects a true effect."

August 29, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDr Evil

Makes me wonder why they didn't realize they were wasting their time on this study.

Perhaps because Ballarini is an undergrad (class of '18) - so could this be a "get your feet wet" study, also with low lab resources to dedicate to non-grads resulting in low power?

August 29, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

@Jonathan-- the 2d author, in my opinion bears responsibility.He was advisor of Senior thesis & knows that the small n is a huge problem. Ballarini shoudl get an "A" for paper. But it was 2d author's bad judgment that resulted in it being launched into stream of scholarly exchange in this form.

August 30, 2017 | Registered CommenterDan Kahan

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