For some research designs, one pays the participants by the amount of time they spend on the task (like regular work). For other designs where one does not, usually participants are able to drop out if one annoys them too much. In both cases it is important to use brief measures. Still, when one uses […]

There is a famous paper arguing the case for libertarian paternalism by using organ donation consent rates. Johnson, E. J., & Goldstein, D. (2003). Do defaults save lives?. Science, 302(5649), 1338-1339. The main result is this: So having opt-out drastically increases consent rates compared with opt-in. These countries have various other differences between them, but […]

I learned about this topic many years ago reading Scott Lilienfeld‘s 50 Myths of popular psychology. In it, they write: In his blockbuster bestselling book Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, journalist Malcolm Gladwell (2005) argued that experts reach decisions by focusing on the most relevant information and making accurate snap judgments. They can […]

I saw this paper at random: The consequences of heavy alcohol use remain a serious public health problem. Consistent evidence has demonstrated that both genetic and social influences contribute to alcohol use. Research on gene-environment interaction (GxE) has also demonstrated that these social and genetic influences do not act independently. Instead, certain environmental contexts may […]

There is a lot of research on the link between crime and cognitive ability. (For criminal outcomes, see the problems in my previous post.) E.g. Is the Association between General Cognitive Ability and Violent Crime Caused by Family-Level Confounders? We linked longitudinal Swedish total population registers to study the association of general cognitive ability (intelligence) […]

I am watching Brian Boutwell’s (Twitter, RG) talk at a recent conference and this got me thinking. What are we measuring? As far as I know, there are typically two outcome variables used in criminological studies: Official records convictions. Self-reported criminal or anti-social behavior. But exactly what trait are we trying to measure? It seems […]

Many people listen to some kind of music while working, or perhaps to some kind of colored noise. Many people will swear that this works. There are multiple ways it can work: Increases work performance. Increase work enjoyment (positive mood effect). Makes work seem to go faster (time experience effect). They are not necessarily causally […]

There are some sites that have scraped the average movie ratings at various sites such as IMDB, Rotten Tomatos and Allmovies. Here is one particularly good (and still online) job. Still, this is all aggregate data. Perhaps we are more interesting in how people rate movies. One does have the option to make one’s profile […]

Noah Carl has been investigating the relationship between cognitive ability and political opinions aside from the usual confused 1-axis left-right model. Specifically, looking at the economic freedom and personal freedom axes (á la this test). He did this in two datasets so far, covering the UK and the US: Verbal intelligence is correlated with socially […]

Normally, testing colorism or other causal models of why human racial traits have nonzero relationships to socioeconomic outcomes requires that one has the following data: Measure of racial ancestry Measures of racial appearance Measures of socioeconomic outcomes such as income or educational attainment Path model wise, one can think of it this way: Discrimination models […]