Measurements Properties & Issues

  • This joke can be used to motivate class discussions on the assumptions underlying drawing conclusions from data (especially the assumption of stationarity). The joke is a revision of a story in "The Angel's Dictionary: A modern tribute to Ambrose Bierce" by Edmund Volkart - also quoted in "Statistically Speaking: A dictionary of Quotations" by Carl Gaither and Alma Cavazos-Gaither (page 62). The revision (to make the story suitable for classroom use) was written by Dennis Pearl, The Ohio State University.
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  • This interactive lecture activity motivates the need for sampling. "Why sample, why not just take a census?" Under time pressure, students count the number of times the letter F appears in a paragraph. The activity demonstrates that a census, even when it is easy to take, may not give accurate information. Under the time pressure measurement errors are more frequently made in the census rather than in a small sample.
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  • If you can't measure it, I'm not interested. A quote by Canadian educator and management theorist Laurence Johnston Peter (1919 - 1990) from "Peter's People" in "Human Behavior" (August, 1976; page 9). The quote also appears in "Statistically Speaking: A dictionary of quotations" compiled by Carl Gaither and Alma Cavazos-Gaither.
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  • A series of 19 songs used to teach Structural Equations Modeling (SEM) by Alan Reifman of Texas Tech University. A video of an in-class performance of the musical on April 27, 2007, is also available at the website. The Musical took second place in the 2007 A-Mu-sing competition.
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  • This pdf text file gives a short introduction to the methods of Bayesian inference. It gives a simple example that deals with jumping a paper frog. The topics listed in this document include: An example, comparison of frequentist and Bayesian methods, credible vs. confidence intervals, choice of prior and its effect on the posterior distribution.
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  • A cartoon to teach about the measurement issues of bias, reliability, and validity. Cartoon by John Landers (www.landers.co.uk) based on an idea from Dennis Pearl (The Ohio State University). Free to use in the classroom and on course web sites.
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  • This activity focuses on basic ideas of linear regression. It covers creating scatterplots from data, describing the association between two variables, and correlation as a measure of linear association. After this activity students will have the knowledge to create output that yields R-square, the slope and intercept, as well as their interpretations. This activity also covers some of the basics about residual analysis and the fit of the linear regression model in certain settings. The corresponding data set for this activity, 'BAC data', can be found at the following web address: http://www.causeweb.org/repository/ACT/BAC.txt
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  • This module is designed to illustrate the effects of selection bias on the observed relationship between premarital cohabitation and later divorce. It also serves as a review of key methodological concepts introduced in the first part of the course.
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  • This collection of datasets comes from several phases of drug research. Each dataset comes with a full description and questions to answer from the data.
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  • ... statistics - whatever their mathematical sophistication and elegance - cannot make bad variables into good ones. Quoted from "Analysis of Nominal Data" by H.T. Reynolds (Sage, 1984) p. 8
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