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−  ==Vampirical==
 
   
−  The following quotation can be found [http://www.stat.columbia.edu/~gelman/research/unpublished/power.pdf here] in an article by Gelman and Weakliem entitled, "Of beauty, sex and power: Statistical challenges in estimating small effects":  +  More on the Monty Hall problem. 
− 
 +  The Mathematical Gazette, 
−  This ability of the theory to explain findings in any direction is also pointed out by Freese (2007), who describes this sort of argument as "more 'vampirical' than 'empirical'unable to be killed by mere evidence."
 +  November 2009 
−   +  Available [http://www.math.jmu.edu/~lucassk/Papers/ProgMonty2.pdfhttp://www.math.jmu.edu/~lucassk/Papers/ProgMonty2.pdf here] 
−  Gelman and Weakliem are criticizing research which putatively detects an effect merely because statistical significance is obtained on either side of zero or, in the case of ratio of females to males, 50%. In particular, they contest the results of studies which claim that “beautiful parents have more daughters, violent men have more sons and other sexrelated patterns.” They also analyze socalled Type M (magnitude) errors and Type S (sign) errors.
 
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−  This is a Type M (magnitude) error: the study is constructed in such a way that any statisticallysignificant finding will almost certainly be a huge overestimate of the true effect. In addition there will be Type S (sign) errors, in which the estimate will be in the opposite direction as the true effect.
 
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−  Discussion
 
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−  1. As a longterm research project, determine via literature and art how the notion of “beautiful” has changed through the ages and across cultures.
 
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−  2. The imbalance between baby daughters and baby sons produced by beautiful people somehow went from the original article’s (not statistically significant) 4.7% to 8% when dealing with the largest comparison (the most beautiful parents on a scale of 1 to 5) to 26% and finally to 36% via a typo in the New York Times.
 
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−  3. The authors, based on their analysis, say “There is no compelling evidence that “Beautiful parents produce more daughters.” Nevertheless, why did the original paper have so much appeal?
 
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−  4. As a check, the authors used People magazine’s “list of the fifty most beautiful people” from 1995 to 2000 to find the offsprings. There were “157 girls out of 329 children, or 47.7% girls (with a standard error 2.8%).” Instead of more females, fewer were produced.
 
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−  5. The authors note “the structure of scientific publication and media attention seem to have a biasing effect on social science research.” Explain what they mean by a “biasing effect.”
 
Revision as of 14:00, 28 November 2009
More on the Monty Hall problem.
The Mathematical Gazette,
November 2009
Available here