2 posts
Common statistical interpretation mistakes

Statistics is a game of subtleties, and you lose when you don’t pay attention to the details. Here are a handful of common mistakes when interpreting the numbers. In a nutshell: You get into trouble when you assume and ignore. Tags: causation, correlation, noise, pitfalls

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Game: Guess the correlation

Guess the Correlation is a straightforward game where you do just that, and it's surprisingly fun. You get a scatterplot and you guess the correlation coefficient. That's it. If you're off by too much, you lose a life, and if you're almost spot on, you gain a life. If you're somewhat right, you get a coin. Bonus points for streaks of correct guesses. Have at it. Tags: correlation, game

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Gender prediction through trivia performance

Todd Schneider likes trivia, and he plays in an online league called LearnedLeague. Curious, Schneider wondered if there was anything interesting he could glean from the performance of the LLamas (Learned League members) that might apply to knowledge in general. He looked at it from two angles. In the first, he simply calculated correlation coefficients between subjects. If you know world history, are you more likely to know geography? Yes....

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Fake correlation

Gabriel Rossman, a sociology professor at UCLA, describes colliders — or when correlation does not equal causation and the former might not even exist either. Referring to the simulated plot above, Rossman uses Hollywood actor selection as an example: For instance, suppose that in a population of aspiring Hollywood actors there is no correlation between acting ability and physical attractiveness. However assume that we generally pay a lot more attention...

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