Tag Archives: Reporting

Mathematics or “Citizen Statistics”?

Does learning mathematics help to master the statistics necessary to understand the social world we live in? Political scientist Andrew Hacker thinks this is a “math myth” that has led to requirements at the high school level that turns off … 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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Googling as Social Data

The horrific tragedy of the April 2013 marathon bombing in Boston sent many people to the web.  In the four days after the bombing, total searches for news rose 50 to 160%, but total searches for religion dropped slightly.  Overall, … Continue reading

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A Mad Rush to Publish

There’s nothing worse for the progress of science than finding that published results were based on outright fraud or overhyped findings. The editors of a site termed Retraction Watch estimate that an average retraction rate of one scientific paper per … Continue reading

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The rush to celebrate “eureka” moments

Yet another article on the problem of replication.  If a study is designed with research methods that have been implemented appropriately and reported clearly, repeating that study with the same methods, the findings should be similar.  Right?  This has always been a … Continue reading

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Reproducibility? Not So Much.

When social scientists use exemplary methods and report their findings accurately, we like to think that they have found out something about the social world.  Furthermore, it then seems that if another social scientist conducted the same study again, with … 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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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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