Statistics

2 posts
Statistical personality quiz matches you to fictional characters

The Open-Source Psychometrics Project, which seems to have been around for a while, provides personality quizzes as an exercise in data collection and personality education: This website has been offering a wide selection of psychological assessments, mostly personality tests, since late 2011 and has given millions of results since then. It exists to educate the public about various personality tests, their uses and meaning, the various theories of personality and...

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AI says if you’re the a**hole

There’s a subreddit where people share a story and ask if they’re the asshole. WTTDOTM and Alex Petros trained AI models based on the responses so that you can enter your own story and see what the AI outputs as responses: AYTA responses are auto-generated and based on different datasets. The red model has only been trained on YTA responses and will always say you are at fault. The green...

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Selecting the right analysis plan is the first step to good dataviz

It's a new term, and my friend Ray Vella shared some student projects from his NYU class on infographics. There's always something to learn from these projects. The starting point is a chart published in the Economist a few years ago. This is a challenging chart to read. To save you the time, the following key points are pertinent: a) income inequality is measured by the disparity between regional averagesb)...

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Fracture and flow of Oreo cookies

Crystal Owens, Max Fan, John Hart, and Gareth McKinley from Massachusetts Institute of Technology published their research on how the cream in an Oreo behaves when you split the sandwich, in Physics of Fluids: Using a laboratory rheometer, we measure failure mechanics of the eponymous Oreo’s “creme” and probe the influence of rotation rate, amount of creme, and flavor on the stress–strain curve and postmortem creme distribution. The results typically...

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Applying sentiment analysis usefully

Sentiment analysis can be fun to apply to varying types of text, but the usefulness of the results, as Rachael Tatman argues, is often low: [T]he places where it makes sense for a data scientist or NLP practitioner working in industry to use sentiment analysis are vanishingly rare. First, because it doesn’t work very well and second, because even when it does work it’s usually measuring the wrong thing. Although...

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Calculating win probabilities

Zack Capozzi, for USA Lacrosse Magazine, explains how he calculates win probabilities pre-game and during games. On interpretation, which could easily apply to other sports and all forecasts: But interpretation here matters quite a bit. And this is frustrating for some people, but that 61 percent should be interpreted as: “if these teams played 100 times, we would expect Marquette to win 61 of those games.” It definitely does not...

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Lessons learned from making covid dashboards

For Nature, Lynne Peeples spoke to the people behind many of the popular covid dashboards and the lessons learned: Among the shared themes for the dashboards were simplicity and clarity. Whether you are producing visuals and analytical tools for policymakers or for the public, Blauer says, the same rules of thumb apply. “Don’t overcomplicate your visualization, make the conclusions as clear as possible, and speak in the most basic of...

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The what of visualization, beyond the how

A long-time reader sent me the following chart from a Nature article, pointing out that it is rather worthless. The simple bar chart plots the number of downloads, organized by country, from the website called Sci-Hub, which I've just learned is where one can download scientific articles for free - working around the exorbitant paywalls of scientific journals. The bar chart is a good example of a Type D chart...

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Increasing mortality baseline

There was a time not that long ago when a hundred covid deaths seemed like a lot, but now the United States is getting closer to one million deaths with over a thousand deaths per day. The country is unmasking and re-opening. For The Atlantic, Ed Yong discusses the shifting baseline and our perception of these big numbers: The United States reported more deaths from COVID-19 last Friday than deaths...

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Inflation explained with eggs

The prices of everything seem to be rising a lot lately. Why? For Vox, Emily Stewart uses eggs as a case study to explain: “There are different ways of thinking about the inflation issue, and economists by default tend to think about macroeconomic issues such as inflation in macroeconomic terms,” said Isabella Weber, an economist at UMass Amherst. “In this current situation that we are facing, we basically have very...

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