Sunday, March 14, 2010

Scientists, Social Scientists, Economists Do Not Understand Statistics

Still, any single scientific study alone is quite likely to be incorrect, thanks largely to the fact that the standard statistical system for drawing conclusions is, in essence, illogical. “A lot of scientists don’t understand statistics,” says Goodman. “And they don’t understand statistics because the statistics don’t make sense.”
“Replication is vital,” says statistician Juliet Shaffer, a lecturer emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley. And in medicine, she says, the need for replication is widely recognized. “But in the social sciences and behavioral sciences, replication is not common,” she noted in San Diego in February at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. “This is a sad situation.”
From the excellent article, "Odds are, it's wrong: Science fails to face the shortcomings of statistics" by Tom Siegfried, ScienceNews, March 27th, 2010; Vol.177 #7 (p. 26).

Also see my previous blog, "Limits Of Econometric Models Of The Macro-Economy."

1 comment :

  1. You are right, that's why they fall into that Black Swan trap every so often! Ad it's why I have tried to put together one of the most comprehensive link lists for hundreds of thousands of statistical sources and indicators (economics, demographics, health etc.) on my blog: Statistics Reference List. And what I find most fascinating is how data can be visualised nowadays with the graphical computing power of modern PCs, as in many of the dozens of examples in these Data Visualisation References. If you miss anything that I might be able to find for you or if you yourself want to share a resource, please leave a comment. And thanks for the literature links that I will reference as well.