Sampling & Survey Issues

  • A quote to initiate a discussion of sampling and the value of randomization in avoiding bias. The quote is by economist and blogger Jaana M Goodrich (1955 - ) writing in her blog under the pseudonym Echidne of the Snakes. The quote is found at http://echidneofthesnakes.blogspot.com/2005/01/exit-polls-make-my-heart-beat-faster.html
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  • A song to be used in discussions of the problems and challenges with modern polling (e.g. the use of Robo calling contact methods and the very low response rates making weighting to avoid bias more crucial than sampling variability issues). The lyrics were written in 2016 by Dennis Pearl from Penn State University and Lawrence Lesser from University of Texas at El Paso. The song may be sung to the tune of Bob Seger's 1978 hit "Old Time Rock and Roll." Musical accompaniment realization and vocals are by Joshua Lintz from University of Texas at El Paso.
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  • "Psephologist" is a poem by Scottish poet Eveline Pye from Glasgow Caledonin University. The poem was originally published in the April 2015 issue of the Herald. "Psephologist" is about the importance of polling in understanding public opinion. The poem might be used in course discussions about the affect that polls in the media might have on public opinion.
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  • A short joke to be used in discussing the history of polls and the innovations brought to the field by George Gallup. The joke was written in 2016 by Larry Lesser, University of Texas at El Paso with assistance from Dennis Pearl.
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  • I know there are some polls out there saying this man has a 32% approval rating. But guys like us, we don't pay attention to the polls. We know that polls are just a collection of statistics that reflect what people are thinking in reality. And reality has a well-known liberal bias. is a quote by American political satirist Stephen Tyrone Colbert (1964 - ). The quote is from a performance on April 29, 2006 at the annual White House Correspondents' Association Dinner.

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  • November 23, 2010 Activity Webinar presented by Stacey Hancock, Reed College, Jennifer Noll, Portland State University, Sean Simpson, Westchester Community College, and Aaron Weinberg, Ithaca College, and hosted by Leigh Slauson, Capital University. Extra materials available for download free of charge. Many instructors ask students to demonstrate the frequentist notion of probability using a simulation early in an intro stats course. Typically, the simulation involves dice or coins, which give equal (and known) probabilities. How about a simulation involving an unknown probability? This webinar discusses an experiment involving rolling (unbalanced) pigs. Since the probabilities are not equal, this experiment also allows the instructor to have students think about the concept of fairness within games.

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  • A cartoon to teach basic ideas about survey sampling. The cartoon is #1271 in the web comic Piled Higher and Deeper by Panamanian cartoonist Jorge Cham (1976- ): see www.phdcomics.com/comics/archive.php?comicid=1271. It originally appeared in that series on January 20, 2010. Free for use in classrooms and course websites with acknowledgement (i.e. "Piled Higher and Deeper" by Jorge Cham www.phdcomics.com should be on or next to the cartoon in your display). Commercial users must contact the copyright holder for permissions.

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  • A sketch by Anastasia Mandel reinterpreting Woman Holding a Balance by Johannes Vermeer (1662-63) with the statistical caption "Sample balancing: "A false balance is abomination to the LORD, but a just weight is his delight.", Proverbs, 11:1" This is part of a collection of sketches by Anastasia Mandel and their accompanying statistical captions discussed in the paper "How art helps to understand statistics" (Model Assisted Statistics and Applications, 2009) by Stan Lipovetsky and Igor Mandel in volume 4 pages 313-324. Free to use in classrooms and on course websites.
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  • This is a collection of notes that covers many topics typically included in introductory and/or intermediate statistics courses. The notes are in PDF format, and each is followed by a set of exercises (with most answers included). The site also includes some tables and a link to a StatTable calculator.
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  • This is a site that contains a number of types of material that can be used in teaching about chance and probability. Lesson plans, syllabi, suggested activities, and data sets are available. The data sets contain interesting information for students such as: quarterback passing rating data, baseball streaks, and baseball salaries that can be used to illustrate means, medians, etc.. The site also contains a link to the Chance News (which is now a wiki on CAUSEweb).

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