Reference Material

  • A cartoon for use in discussing the issues of causation versus correlation and the assumptions underlying Structural Equations Modeling (SEM) for students who have been introduced to that technique. The idea for the cartoon came from David Lane of Rice University and the cartoon was drawn by Ben Shabad, a student at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. The cartoon was awarded a tie for first place in the cartoon category of the 2011 CAUSE A-Mu-sing competition. For for use in statistics courses at non-profit institutions.
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  • A song lyric by Dennis Pearl of The Ohio State University written as a parody of the 1960 tune "Hit the Road Jack" by Percy Mayfield; made popular by Ray Charles in his 1961 recording. What to say in class before song: There are times when the mode may be preferred to the mean - especially if the concept of interest is tied to understanding the most likely situation. You might remember that Ray Charles used to sing a song about this... In a class where Bayesian and Maximum Likelihood methodology has been introduced you might add the following after the first sentence "For example when you assume a uniform non-informative prior for a parameter, then the m.l.e. coincides with the mode of the posterior distribution - and the mean of the posterior distribution may not be a good estimate." Tip for Teaching: The song takes up a bit too much class time for delivering its message. Thus, for in-class use, it is recommended to play only the first verse or three. Musical accompaniment realization and male vocals are by Joshua Lintz, female vocals are by Mariana Sandoval from University of Texas at El Paso.
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  • You can't fix by analysis what you bungled by design. is a quote by American education researchers Richard J. Light, Judith D. Singer, and John B. Willett. The quote is found in the preface of their 1990 book "By Design: planning research on higher education".
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  • There is no such thing as no chance is a quote by American businessman and founder of the Ford Motor Company, Henry Ford (1863-1947). The quote is from a speech given to the 1930 class of students at Edison Laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey. It is referred to on page 14 of the 1930 book "American Florist".
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  • A joke to teach the meaning of "significance" by University of Texas at El Paso professor of Mathematical Sciences, Lawrence Mark Lesser (1964-).
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  • This 6 minute 39 second video can be used to teach the difference between correlation and causation. For example, that a relationship between X and Y might be explained by X causing Y, Y causing X, or a third factor that drives them both. The video is episode #109 (Nov 10, 2009) in the Psych Files podcast series produced and hosted by Michael A. Britt, Ph.D. at www.thepsychfiles.com. Video is free to use in the classroom or on course websites under a non-commercial ShareAlike creative commons license.
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  • A cartoon suitable for use in teaching ideas about independence and conditional probability. The cartoon is number 795 from the webcomic series at xkcd.com created by Randall Munroe. Free to use in the classroom and on course web sites under a creative commons attribution-non-commercial 2.5 license.
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  • All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better. is a quote by American author and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 - 1882). The quote was written as a journal entry on November 11, 1842.
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  • Hot streaks are a statistical illusion! This is a quote from the cartoon character Lisa Simpson created by cartoonist Matt Groening (1954 - ) in 1987. The quote occurs in an episode of The Simpsons entitled "MoneyBART" that originally aired on October 10, 2010. This episode was written by Tim Long (1969 - ).
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  • Don 't worry about polls, but if you do, don't admit it. is a quote by former First Lady Eleanor Rosalynn Smith Carter (1927 - ).
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