Monday, June 6, 2011

Tables are better than plots (April Fools) and other reading

  • A several participant discussion of plots vs. tables begins with a 5 page piece by Andrew Gelman about why tables are better than plots, concluding with "I recommend using Excel, which has some really nice defaults as well as options such as those 3-D colored bar charts." April Fools! The remaining pieces knock down the straw man.
  • At Society for Research on Child Development this March, I asked NICHD head Alan Guttmacher for the current scope of the "child health and development" that his institute covers since some say that adolescence extends until 25 because the brain is not fully developed until then. He said that age 25 is a fine age to use as the end of child development. The National Campaign has issued areport on young adulthood describing this changing stage of life.
  • AP grading and what it's like to grade AP exams. I was surprised that 85-90% of these history exams were written by 9th and 10th graders.
  • Humor in romantic relationships: women have more romantic interest in online dating profiles that are funny (in their opinion) than not funny. No difference for men's assessment of women. Practical implications aside (Do any men like me for my sense of humor?), this study is a great example of how gender could be used as a counterfactual, even though they didn't use it here. Now that people are frequently represented not just by resumes (as in studies of racial discrimination in choosing interview candidates) but by electronic profiles on facebook or dating sites, we can alter gender or other immutable characteristics on the electronic profiles and infer causal effects.
  • Seating location and voting behavior on FDA advisory committees: those who speak later may have less influence on the vote, perhaps attributable to seating location.

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