Category Archives: Chapter 5

Fighting Extreme Poverty

Half a billion people live on less than 75 cents per day.  Termed the “ultrapoor,”  they often have too few resources to send their children to school or to save any money. What would it take to improve their conditions?  … Continue reading

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Political Polling: Still Viable?

Polling has captured the news as never before during the current presidential primary season.  But at the same time that polls are more popular than ever before, their reliability is lower than ever.  As you know from Chapter 8 on … Continue reading

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Perception and Measurement about Mental Illness

Does it surprise you to learn that a large longitudinal survey of parents has led to the conclusion that the rate of severe mental illness among children and adolescents has dropped considerably in the last generation?  The study involved ratings … Continue reading

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Trash the Focus of Anthropological Research in New York

New York University anthropologist Robin Nagle has found “a gold mine for garbage pickers.” New York’s Department of Sanitation collects almost 3.5 million tons of trash each year. The contents range from discarded photos of a divorced spouse and bottles … 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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Research Findings Too Good to be True

The level of popular acceptance of same-sex marriage has increased dramatically in recent years, but remains low in many areas. What if same-sex marriage proponents sent gay canvassers into neighborhoods to persuade opponents of gay marriage to change their potential … Continue reading

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Does Anonymity Change Behavior?

Do you use Yik Yak?  Do you wish everyone did?  This new social media app allows people in a small area–like students in college–post messages without being identified in any way.  It has resulted in some very offensive “yaks,” including … Continue reading

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Movie “Facts” … or Fantasy?

Movies based on true stories often gain a wide audience.  Selma.  American Sniper. The Theory of Everything.  The Imitation Game.  I think you could call each of them a great movie.  But how accurate are they? Research by psychologists has … Continue reading

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Measurement Validity for Twitter?

Twitter messages are being used increasingly to track public mood and interests. Social media and Big Data enthusiasts–and those of us who care about measurement validity–will be interested to know that a new investigation provides evidence of the validity of … Continue reading

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Big Data, Technology, and Teaching

Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee’s New York Times bestseller, The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies (W. W. Norton) argues that we are at an inflection point of exceptional change in society due … Continue reading

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