Category Archives: Uncategorized

RE Summer PSYCH 315 – B term (4 weeks)

Just sent this email to the currently enrolled students in my upcoming PSYCH 315 course this summer. Posting here in case others are thinking of taking it. Want to be clear about the pace.

Good morning this Fri. of Finals week,

I hope you are each done with your spring quarter, that it went reasonably well, and that you enjoy the slice of time before our B term 315 class starts. This is not to say that our 315 class won’t be enjoyable. It can be, especially if you like stats., but it is an atypical sort of immersive, all-encompassing, no time for anything else sort of enjoyment. Like virtual reality, only not virtual and all stats. More on that below.

The first thing to say is that we are using a very nice textbook. It is in its 7th edition. You can purchase the new edition, but you can also use an older edition. There should be lots of 6th editions floating around. The authors are King, Rosopa, and Minium.

Now back to the immersive nature of our four week 315 class. If you already know all this material well, then what I say here doesn’t apply to you. But if you are learning stats. for the first time and you don’t want to take this class again, try to clear your schedule during our class. I understand you may have work or other responsibilities you cannot simply pause. Try to pause anything optional. I don’t recommend taking other intensive courses during this four weeks. I would also get ready to have a diminished to non-existent social life during these four weeks. The pace is intense and if you get behind, catching up is difficult.

There will be support to help you learn this material. We have a wonderful graduate TA, and I believe we’ll have a handful of undergrad. peer tutors, as well. Thus assistance outside of class as needed should be available.

Take care! Enjoy June and see you toward the end of July,

Significance testing, p-values, and confidence intervals

You have to enjoy the introduction of Sander Greenland, et al.’s article in the supplemental material posted with the American Statistical Association’s statement on p-values (full text here):

“Misinterpretation and abuse of statistical tests, confidence intervals, and statistical power have been decried for decades, yet remain rampant. A key problem is that there are no interpretations of these concepts that are at once simple, intuitive, correct, and foolproof. Instead, correct use and interpretation of these statistics requires an attention to detail which seems to tax the patience of working scientists. This high cognitive demand has led to an epidemic of shortcut definitions and interpretations that are simply wrong, sometimes disastrously so—and
yet these misinterpretations dominate much of the scientific literature.” (p. 1, emphasis mine)

Working scientists should be able to handle this.