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I was an astrologer – here's how it really works, and why I had to stop | Life and style | The Guardian
Customers marvelled at my psychic abilities but was that really what was going on when I told their fortune?
astrology  fraud  science  debunking  witchcraft  energy  fortune  psychic 
6 days ago by ivar
Neurosexism: the myth that men and women have different brains
The history of sex-difference research is rife with innumeracy, misinterpretation, publication bias, weak statistical power, inadequate controls and worse. Rippon, a leading voice against the bad neuroscience of sex differences, uncovers so many examples in this ambitious book that she uses a whack-a-mole metaphor to evoke the eternal cycle. A brain study purports to discover a difference between men and women; it is publicized as, ‘At last, the truth!’, taunting political correctness; other researchers expose some hyped extrapolation or fatal design flaw; and, with luck, the faulty claim fades away — until the next post hoc analysis produces another ‘Aha!’ moment and the cycle repeats. As Rippon shows, this hunt for brain differences “has been vigorously pursued down the ages with all the techniques that science could muster”. And it has exploded in the past three decades, since MRI research joined the fray. Yet, as 'The Gendered Brain' reveals, conclusive findings about sex-linked brain differences have failed to materialize.
brain  men  nature  women  gender  sexism  neurology  neurosexism  myths  debunking 
7 weeks ago by jm
On Whorfian Socioeconomics by Thomas B. Pepinsky :: SSRN
"Whorfian socioeconomics is an emerging interdisciplinary field of study that holds that linguistic structures explain differences in beliefs, values, and opinions across communities. Its core empirical strategy is to document a correlation between the presence or absence of a linguistic feature in a survey respondent’s language, and her/his responses to survey questions. This essay demonstrates — using the universe of linguistic features from the World Atlas of Language Structures and a wide array of responses from the World Values Survey — that such an approach produces highly statistically significant correlations in a majority of analyses, irrespective of the theoretical plausibility linking linguistic features to respondent beliefs. These results raise the possibility that correlations between linguistic features and survey responses are actually spurious. The essay concludes by showing how two simple and well-understood statistical fixes can more accurately reflect uncertainty in these analyses, reducing the temptation for analysts to create implausible Whorfian theories to explain spurious linguistic correlations."
in_NB  linguistics  economics  social_science_methodology  pepinsky.thomas_b.  debunking  evisceration  have_read  to_teach:linear_models  have_sent_gushing_fanmail  to:blog  to_teach:data_over_space_and_time 
8 weeks ago by cshalizi
7 Things Netflix’s ‘The Great Hack’ Gets Wrong About the Facebook–Cambridge Analytica Data Scandal - Truth on the Market Truth on the Market
(Tangentially: if the effects of campaign advertising are 0 on average, why do campaigns spend so much on it? Alternately, how do those studies rule out the possibility that advertising with little or no opposition would be very effective, but it's always opposed?)
to_teach:data-mining  cambridge_analytica  debunking  track_down_references 
10 weeks ago by cshalizi
Debunking the Stanford Prison Experiment
"The Stanford Prison Experiment (SPE) is one of psychology’s most famous studies. It has been criticized on many grounds, and yet a majority of textbook authors have ignored these criticisms in their discussions of the SPE, thereby misleading both students and the general public about the study’s questionable scientific validity. Data collected from a thorough investigation of the SPE archives and interviews with 15 of the participants in the experiment further question the study’s scientific merit. These data are not only supportive of previous criticisms of the SPE, such as the presence of demand characteristics, but provide new criticisms of the SPE based on heretofore unknown information. These new criticisms include the biased and incomplete collection of data, the extent to which the SPE drew on a prison experiment devised and conducted by students in one of Zimbardo’s classes 3 months earlier, the fact that the guards received precise instructions regarding the treatment of the prisoners, the fact that the guards were not told they were subjects, and the fact that participants were almost never completely immersed by the situation. Possible explanations of the inaccurate textbook portrayal and general misperception of the SPE’s scientific validity over the past 5 decades, in spite of its flaws and shortcomings, are discussed."

--- Preprint:
to:NB  psychology  experimental_psychology  debunking 
august 2019 by cshalizi
Turkheimer's Projects: Genetics and Human Agency | Jayman on the Three Laws of Behavior Genetics
As usual, Turkheimer talks good sense about behavioral genetics, and what "heritability" actually means.
human_genetics  heritability  debunking  turkheimer.eric 
may 2019 by cshalizi
Richard de Mille - Wikipedia
Author, investigative journalist, psychologist
debunking  casteneda 
may 2019 by gdw

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