Null effects are fine, but you need to discuss power!

I like the way that a lot of social sciences are starting to push for publishing more studies that tried something plausible and then found nothing.  Null effects papers tend to be difficult to publish, which leads to publication bias, meaning you’re more likely to find something spurious than to not find something.

BUT.  One almost sure-fire way to find no effect is to have a sample size that is too small to pick up an effect.

If you find no effect, you need to discuss sample size.

If you find no effect from an experiment, then you really need to talk about the power analysis that you did *before* you ran the experiment that shows the sample size you would need to find an effect size.

And if you have a large magnitude that just isn’t significant, that isn’t as convincing as having an insignificant small magnitude or, even better, a small magnitude that flips sign depending on specification.

As the great Dierdre McCloskey says, statistical significance is not the same as oomph.  Or as I tell my students, meaningful significance is not the same as statistical significance.

A true null effect is something that has a small effect size, whether or not it is significant.  And if you find an insignificant null effect, then you have to discuss whether this is a true non-finding or if you just didn’t get enough observations.

Got that?  Null effect = fine, but it has to be a real null effect and not just a bad study.

Wishing a happy 100th birthday to #2’s grandma!

Happy birthday!

And hoping #2 is having a great time at the party!

Using children as labor

I had a Monday deadline.  What with one thing and another, my (new) RAs didn’t finish or didn’t correctly finish turning my color figures into consistent black and white figures in Excel before the weekend.

Since I hadn’t actually finished writing the paper yet at that point I wasn’t going to have time to do it myself.  So I thought… I bet this is something DC1 could do.

I asked DC1 if zie was interested in learning excel and fixing up some graphs for me and said I would pay hir, though I didn’t yet know how much.  Zie said sure.

So DH showed DC1 how and we decided the exact shades and dottings and markers that we liked, and DC1 finished over the weekend in less time than I had expected (~3 hours total) and did a great job.  Zie had really nice attention to detail, something I haven’t had in an RA for several years.

My mom never let me help with her rote grading or other work activities, even when it was mindless stuff I could easily do.  I did do some data entry and cataloguing for my father for various of his self-employment ventures.  It is legal to employ a child in a family business.  Is my research a family business?  This particular deadline comes with a check and I do have my own EIN.  If I don’t have to do it, is it a hobby?  If it is legal, is it ethical?

I salivate at the thought of my brilliant, careful DCs running Stata code for me.  We’re not there yet, but man, that would be awesome.  I know economist children of famous economists who grew up doing RA work for their parents and other economists for cash, and they seem to think they picked up useful skills, especially when that first non-economics major didn’t work out.  A person who can code can make a tidy sum.

Did you ever help your parents out with their work?  If you have children, have they helped out with your work?

link love

Unfortunately the number is even bigger now.  :(  If justice is blind, it’s because it is wearing a white hood.  F the police.  F the police. F the police.  F the police.

Disney just cannot get rid of its racist core.

Why Stirrup Queens really is with her.  Because hating Trump isn’t enough.  (Or maybe it is…On your way to the camps...)

ICYMI:  Trump used $258,000 of *other people’s money* from his charitable foundation to settle legal problems.  This is called self-dealing and is illegal.  What boggles my mind is how much illegal stuff Trump does but it’s all stuff that the penalty is a fine, I guess, not jail-time.  So it makes sense to him to do a crap-ton of illegal stuff and wait to get sued and then settle for part of the cost (or for someone else to pay his fines!).  And the thing is, I bet if he weren’t such a scuzz bucket grifter, people would trust him more and he’d actually be making money from business rather than be not beating the market.

Libertarians can be so dumb.

Most Americans are wrong.

When Teen Vogue gives better coverage than NPR.

I wish I could put this on my board in class, but I’m trying to stay away from politics in math…

We love Obama so much.

I like the cut of Gutierrez’s jib.

Credit card companies market to people differently by using behavioral biases.

Sometimes I’m disappointed with Hank Green.

Underemployment in early careers of college graduates following the great recession.

Ugh, heterosexual sex scenes don’t make a book “mature” but the presence of a bisexual person does?  WTF?

Clinton’s policy agenda and why we’re not hearing much about it.  (Hint:  the media doesn’t think we’re interested.)

Wishing Windy City Gal a speedy recovery!

Congratulations to Leigh form Leigh PF!

Michelle Obama is hilarious.

Mouseover!

Y’arrr from BCN.

A post for Ana.

 

Google questions because that last ask the grumpies is too hard

Q:  what happens to kids that don’t do nothing when they come after school

A:  they do something?  Hopefully their homework and chores?

Q:  what language is mimi and pipi from

A:  Maybe French Canadian?

Q:  why do i love to be miserable

A:  Because you are a masochist?

Q:  why some people rather drama

A:  Because they are bored.  Idle hands make the devil’s playground.

Q:  if i pay off my lian can i borrow it again

A:  Depends on the lian agent.

Q:  websites for googly questions

A:  You have come to the right place.

Q:  why do mom’s beg kids to do stuff they don’t want

A:  This is one of those mysteries in life.

Q:  why is check book always off

A:  Basic arithmetic is a harsh mistress.

Q:  is it worth having two jobs to pay off bills early

A:  Depends on the opportunity cost of the marginal job.

Q:  how to cook rumblings

A:  I’m gonna guess in the oven, but you can probably stove-top it with a dutch oven.

Should we empathize with Trump voters?

In a word, no.

People who vote for Trump care about racism, and to a lesser extent, misogyny over *any other issue*.

There’s a movement among some liberal white folks (even our beloved wandsci) to empathize with these jerks.  They’re poor.  They’re seeing privileges stripped away.  They’re not used to being so close to the bottom.  They’re uneducated.  They’re scared and don’t know any better.  We should try to understand their point of view.  That’s the argument.

First, although the media narrative is an economic one, it’s not actually true.  White Trump voters are better off than the average American.  It is true that they’re generally not college educated.  But that’s on them.  They’re making plenty of money without the fancy degree that they could still get if they wanted.

Second, even if the media narrative were true, which it isn’t, that’s still no excuse to be racist.

Racism is deplorable.  As the ladies on the Here to make friends bachelor podcast note, plenty of people have bad things happen to them and don’t become assholes.  Your reaction to hardship or tragedy doesn’t have to be voting against your economic interests so that you can feel superior to someone with a different skin color.

There’s no point in trying to empathize with racists anymore than there’s a point in trying to empathize with dangerously misogynistic Chad on the Bachelor franchise.  Empathy will not change their behavior.  Shaming might.  More likely these hardcore racists are just lost to humanity and will either someday see the light or they will die bitter horrible people.  And that’s ok.  The importance of shaming is not to change their beliefs.  Shaming does two things.  First, it changes the behavior of the bulk of these horrible people because it forces them to watch what they say and how they act, so it is harder to hurt minorities.  Second, it shows that bulk of easily-led people that casual racism is not cool and tilts them for good over evil, which means they too are less likely to commit acts of overt racism.

Empathy has no place.  These people are racist.  Their behavior is deplorable.  They should be ashamed of themselves.  We should shame them.  This behavior has no place in mainstream society and if it can’t be removed entirely, it should be treated as the abomination that it is.  Let them dress up in their costumes and play their stupid games by themselves where we can laugh at them as losers who can’t get past 1865.  But when their behavior starts affecting normal people, and when it starts having a negative effect on people who are already discriminated against, that’s when any residual caring about their racist fee-fees should disappear.  They are bad people with bad beliefs and hopefully one day their children will escape and see how much better the world can be without their hate.

A play for 3 actors

Player 1:  Whose woods are these

I think I know

They belong to

Bick Pentameter

Player 2:  Who is Bick Pentameter

Player 3 (emerging from leafy shadows):  I am

Bick Pentameter

*Fin*

[Players bow]

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Thanks to DH who suggested, “Bick Pentameter” for the first line, “I am” when DC1 came home with a “personal poem” that forced hir to fill in the blanks after partial sentences.  Sometimes I really wonder if I married an engineer.  In his defense, he notes it doesn’t have quite the same ring as “I am Batman.”