Data

TED on Wrongful Convictions: Part I

I recently came across a series of good talks about the phenomenon of wrongful convictions. There are numerous reasons for the problem, some of which will be discussed in the videos. I’ll spread them out over six days, so that my readers can give each talk the thought that it might deserve. The speakers come […]

Multiple Guess

Test takers and givers have long debated whether it is wise to stick with your initial answer or switch when in doubt. The usual suggestion is to stick with your “gut reaction”, but does the data bear this out? Actually, no. This article at PSYBlog discusses the data, and conjectures about the reason. I’m sure […]

DHA Could Help Poor Readers

In a recent randomized double blind trial, adding the Omega-3 fatty acid DHA to a students diet resulted in improved reading scores. Here is a taste of a piece from STATS fellow Maia Szalavitz: Researchers at Oxford University’s Center for Evidence-Based Intervention studied 362 7- to 9-year-old children who had placed in the bottom third […]

Does Smoking Pot Lower IQ?

Apparently, the answer is yes. (HT: Josh Wood) And worse, if you start young, it appears the brain is less able to regain the IQ points lost while smoking. We could have a discussion about the methodology used, and we should beware that correlation does not imply causation in an observational study such as this. […]

TED Talk Tuesday

This idea might change the world …

Measuring Ministry Success without Worrying About Numbers

A nice piece on effective youth ministry from Kurt Willems today. (HT: Rob Martin) Willems talks about his experience early in his career as a youth pastor where he was basically told that the worth of his ministry was related to how many students showed up. Willems suggests a different economy: Many people ask me […]

TED Talk Tuesday: Part 3

I’ve commented before on the science behind fracking, and the lack of media acknowledgement of the improvement in techniques over the 50+ years of the technology. In this TED talk, T. Boone Pickens discusses the possibility that natural gas could be one way to cut America’s dependence on foreign oil. Not sure I agree with […]