Monthly Archives: June 2015

Can Big Data be a Bad Thing?

Have you ever found yourself changing your behavior just to “score points” with your FitBit bracelet, or something similar?  How much do we really learn from postings on Facebook?  Is it just what people want us to see?  What are … Continue reading

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Place matters for poverty

Children who move out of high poverty neighborhoods to low poverty neighborhoods with more resources do better on multiple outcomes, and the younger they are when their families move the better. These conclusions come from a study of the long-term outcomes … Continue reading

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Do social scientists do better than pollsters?

One of the concerns that emerged from the recent scandal about apparently fictitious data in a published poll about support for same-sex marriage was whether public pollsters are less transparent in their methods than social scientists.  Polling organizations are often … Continue reading

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Increasing retractions, increasing fraud??

There has been a 20-25 percent increase in retractions in a total of 10,000 medical and science journals in the past five years (it’s now up to 500-600 retractions per year).  Data has been distorted, faked, and the methods of getting … Continue reading

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Where are our survey methods when we most need them?

Problems with sampling and response rates in phone surveys due to cell phones and answering machines continue to bedevil survey researchers. As the 2016 presidential election approaches, the reliability of election polling is increasingly a focus of concern.  Predictions in some … Continue reading

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