Communication as Art and Science

I alluded to this on Twitter, and meant to leave that be, but the other thing I was going to blog today didn’t come together, and I probably shouldn’t leave a cryptic tweet as my only comment. So… One of the links getting passed around a lot in my social-media circles is this Tumblr post […]

Concussions, Back Problems, and Odd Statistics

Jonah Lehrer has a big article at Grantland on concussions in high school football that paints a fairly bleak picture: The sickness will be rooted in football’s tragic flaw, which is that it inflicts concussions on its players with devastating frequency. Although estimates vary, several studies suggest that up to 15 percent of football players […]

Neither a Neuroscientist Nor a Statistician

A bunch of people I follow on social media were buzzing about this blog post yesterday, taking Jonah Lerher to task for “getting spun” in researching and writing this column in the Wall Street Journal about this paper on the “wisdom of crowds” effect. The effect in question is a staple of pop psychology these […]

On the “Hot Hand” in Basketball

A little while back, Jonah Lehrer did a nice blog post about reasoning that used the famous study by Gilovich, Vallone and Tversky, The Hot Hand in Basketball (PDF link) as an example of a case where people don’t want to believe scientific results. The researchers found absolutely no statistical evidence of “hot” shooting– a […]

Science Stereotypes and Threats

One thing that I thought of while writing yesterday’s mammoth post about scientific thinking and stereotypes was the notion of stereotype threat, the psychological phenomenon where students who are reminded of negative stereotypes right before a test tend to score worse than they do when taking the test without the negative reminder. This is a […]

Socialization of Toddlers

In last weekend’s post about arguments from innate differences, I suggested that I might be willing to illustrate my position with adorable toddler pictures. On thinking more about it, I’m a little hesitant to write about this at length, because it could easily topple over into arrogant-physicist territory. But then, it’s an excuse to post […]

The Problem With Innate Differences

In yesterday’s post about the experience of science, I mentioned that I had both a specific complaint about the article by Alexandra Jellicoe (which I explained in the post) and a general complaint about the class in which the article falls. I want to attempt to explain the latter problem, partly because I think it […]