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July 1, 2015

How long do prison escapees go before being caught?

Filed in Ideas ,R
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A DOZEN YEARS OF ESCAPE DATA FROM NEW YORK STATE

nys

Click to enlarge

The recent prison break in upstate New York got us wondering how long prison escapes tend to last. We found some data on prison escapes in New York State. See the dot plot above.

We then found a table in the Atlantic, which cites this paper, on perhaps more skillful inmates who managed to stay on the run a bit longer, though 80% of them were back in prison inside a week.

The upshot from both analyses is the same: if you escape from prison, you’re probably going to be re-captured within a day.

R CODE

June 26, 2015

When did same-sex marriage laws become effective by state?

Filed in Ideas ,R
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CORRELATION WITH REPUBLICAN VOTING IN THE 2012 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

ribbon

Click to see a larger, stripped down version

In light of the good news today that the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry in the United States, we thought we’d look at when same-sex marriage laws became effective by state (if they did at all) before today.

Noting that same sex marriage is a dividing issue between the left and right in the US, we thought we’d compare the date of when same-sex marriage laws become effective in each state with each state’s Republican (two-party) vote share in 2012. Results are below.

samesex.pre201506.s

Click to enlarge

Note that California’s same-sex marriage law was effective in 2008, then it was overturned, and then made effective again in 2013. We went with the earlier date because you’ve got to chose something.

The next question is “what about the states that were added by the Supreme Court decision today”? We made a second plot, below, in which we put today’s date for those states in the “effective date” column. The result is pretty much the same. See at the top of the post the ribbom plot contributed by David Lallemant in the comments.

It is interesting to note that none of the plurality Romney-voting states had same sex marriage laws in effect before 2014.

A couple last things. You probably want to see the data, because the graph can be hard to read.

THE DATA

Or you can get the data and the R code both

R CODE

June 19, 2015

SJDM deadline tomorrow

Filed in SJDM-Conferences
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ABSTRACT SUBMISSION DEADLINE FOR SJDM JUNE 20, 2015

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Just a reminder that the Society for Judgment and Decision Making Conference deadline is tomorrow, June 20, 2015.

It’s easy to submit (you only need a 600 word abstract), though tough to get in (historically about 25% of submissions are accepted).

Send your best decision-making work to:
http://www.sjdm.org/programs/2015-cfp.html

Find out more about the conference here.

June 10, 2015

The SJDM Newsletter is ready for download

Filed in SJDM
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SOCIETY FOR JUDGMENT AND DECISION MAKING NEWSLETTER

 

The quarterly Society for Judgment and Decision Making newsletter can be downloaded from the SJDM site:

http://sjdm.org/newsletters/

It features jobs, conferences, announcements, and more.

Enjoy!
Decision Science News / SJDM Newsletter Editor

June 3, 2015

Got good ideas for crowdsourcing? Attend the IARPA Proposers’ Day conference

Filed in Conferences ,Programs ,Tools
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CREATE: CROWDSOURCING EVIDENCE, ARGUMENTATION, THINKING AND EVALUATION

ia

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) will host a Proposers’ Day Conference for the Crowdsourcing Evidence, Argumentation, Thinking and Evaluation (CREATE) Program on June 30, 2015, in anticipation of the release of a new solicitation in support of the Program. The Conference will be held from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM EDT in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. The purpose of the Conference will be to provide introductory information on CREATE and the research problems that the Program aims to address, to respond to questions from potential proposers, and to provide a forum for potential proposers to present their capabilities and identify potential team partners. This announcement serves as a pre-solicitation notice and is issued solely for information and planning purposes. The Proposers’ Day Conference does not constitute a formal solicitation for proposals or proposal abstracts. Conference attendance is voluntary and is not required to propose to future solicitations (if any) associated with this Program. IARPA will not provide reimbursement for any costs incurred to participate in this Proposers’ Day.

BACKGROUND AND PROGRAM GOALS
CREATE aims to improve analytic thinking by combining structured reasoning techniques with crowdsourcing. CREATE will develop and test methods to help dispersed groups of individuals identify and evaluate the structure and content of arguments in relation to alternative hypotheses. Intelligence analysts, along with professionals in other fields, assess competing hypotheses in light of multiple considerations, including reasons, evidence and assumptions. Reasons and evidence often differ in credibility and diagnosticity. CREATE will develop (1) structured methods to elicit and aggregate the elements of an argument and (2) ways to crowdsource the use of these methods, so that many individuals can collectively develop and refine an argument. The methods will be capable of treating reasoning involving quantitative and qualitative information. The CREATE Program expects to draw upon the strengths of academia and industry through collaborative teaming. It is anticipated that teams will be multidisciplinary and might include social and behavioral scientists, experts in informal logic, and computer scientists.

REGISTRATION INFORMATION
Attendees must register no later than 6:00 pm EDT, June 23, 2015 at

https://events.signup4.com/CREATEPDRegistration_June2015.

Directions to the Conference facility and other materials will be provided upon registration. No walk-in registrations will be allowed.

Due to space limitations, attendance will be limited to the first 250 registrants. If there are more registrants than available seats, priority will be given to the first two registrants from each organization. All attendees will be required to present government-issued photo identification to enter the event. Non-U.S. citizens will be required to present passports.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
The afternoon will include unclassified presentations and poster sessions to provide an opportunity for attendees to present their organizations’ capabilities and to explore teaming arrangements. Attendees who wish to present organization capabilities for teaming opportunities may submit a request through the registration website. Details on the presentation and poster formats, and the procedure for submitting a request to present, will be provided after approval to register for the Conference has been granted. Time available for presentations and posters will be limited. Therefore, presentations will be limited to the first 15 registered respondents who request an oral presentation, and posters will be limited to the first 15 registered respondents who request a poster presentation. These presentations are not intended to solicit feedback from the Government, and Government personnel will not be present during the presentations.

This Proposers’ Day is intended for participants who are eligible to compete on the anticipated BAA. Other Government Agencies, Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs), University Affiliated Research Centers (UARCs), or any other similar organizations that have a special relationship with the Government, that gives them access to privileged or proprietary information, or access to Government equipment or real property, will not be eligible to submit proposals to the anticipated BAA nor participate as team members under proposals submitted by eligible entities. While such entities are not prohibited from attending the Proposers’ Day, due to space limitations, preference will be given first to those organizations that are eligible to compete. Questions concerning Conference and registration can be sent to dni-iarpa-events@iarpa.gov.
Questions regarding the program can be sent to dni-iarpa-baa-15-11@iarpa.gov.

Contracting Office Address:
Office of the Director of National Intelligence
Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity
Washington, DC 20511

Primary Point of Contact:
Steven Rieber
Program Manager, IARPA
dni-iarpa-baa-15-11@iarpa.gov

Solicitation Number:
IARPA-BAA-15-11

Link at FedBizOpps.Gov
Link at IARPA.gov

May 29, 2015

Chances of going to college based on parent’s income

Filed in Ideas ,R
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INCOME PERCENTILES AND INCOMES PAINT DIFFERENT PICTURES

ydi.blank

The amazing team at the New York Times have a “You Draw It” feature in The Upshot in which readers try their hands at drawing a graph. The graph should show the probability of a child going to college based on their parents’ percentile in the income distribution.

As a cool added feature, after people took their guesses, they could see, in shades of red, the other guesses people had taken and compare it to the actual graph.

SPOILER ALERT: You can see the true answer at the bottom of this post. If you want to try your hand at guessing, click through to the NY Times and guess before proceeding.

One way to interpret this relationship is that for every percentile increase in parental income, the probability of college enrollment increases by a constant amount, which might seem somewhat surprising. Even the NY Times editors were surprised by this linear relationship, and the data they collected showed that other people were, too.

Jake Hofman and I wondered “what if people didn’t take the X-axis literally, what if they thought about it as something like log income or income (instead of percentile in the income distribution)?” Percentiles are tricky. They’re buckets with equal numbers of people, but those people can have very different incomes. What would the graph look like if the X-axis were income? Would this relationship be more intuitive to readers?

Jake scraped some income percentile data from whatsmypercent.com and we eyeballed the probability data from the chart at the NY Times. This enabled us to look at the probability of going to college based on income, which tells somewhat of a different story. In these plots, the size of the each point corresponds to the number of people in it.

The change you get by adding $10,000 a family’s income matters considerably for those earning between $10,000 and $100,000 (which the vast majority of Americans do), and matters much less outside that range. At the same time, it’s considerably more difficult for lower income parents to increase their income by this amount.

Probability of going to college vs log income:

dollars_college_log10

Probability of going to college vs income:

dollars_college

SPOILER ALERT – BELOW YOU WILL SEE THE ANSWER FROM THE NY TIMES

Probability of going to college vs income percentile:

nyt

R CODE FOR YOUR CODING PLEASURE

May 20, 2015

Gelman had a sense about the dubious Science article

Filed in Gossip ,Research News
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THE SMART MONEY SENSED SOMETHING WAS UP

gl

As you probably know, the well-known Science article on attitudes toward gay marriage by LaCour and Green has been called into question (even by its second author) and will likely be retracted by the journal.

We were amazed and impressed to learn today that statistician Andrew Gelman had a sense that something was up with the article soon after it was published. In a December comment in the Washington Post, Gelman was flabbergasted by the size of the claimed result:

What stunned me about these results was not just the effect itself—although I agree that it’s interesting in any case—but the size of the observed differences. They’re huge: an immediate effect of 0.4 on a five-point scale and, after nine months, an effect of 0.8.

A difference of 0.8 on a five-point scale . . . wow! You rarely see this sort of thing. Just do the math. On a 1-5 scale, the maximum theoretically possible change would be 4. But, considering that lots of people are already at “4” or “5” on the scale, it’s hard to imagine an average change of more than 2. And that would be massive. So we’re talking about a causal effect that’s a full 40% of what is pretty much the maximum change imaginable. Wow, indeed.

and

And this got me wondering, how could this happen? After all, it’s hard to change people’s opinions, even if you try really hard. And then these canvassers were getting such amazing results, just by telling a personal story?

and

I say all this not to “debunk” or dismiss LaCour and Green’s work: I think their experiment is really cool, and it’s amazing they found such strong and consistent effects. What I’m trying to do here is understand these findings in light of all the other things we know about public opinion.

That said, Gelman didn’t cry foul. He accepted the result as real and tried to come up with reasons why it might have happened. But he sensed something was unusual, even back in December, and we’re quite impressed by that.

May 15, 2015

COBE 2015: List of accepted presentations

Filed in Conferences
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CROWDSOURCING AND ONLINE BEHAVIORAL EXPERIMENTS 2015, PORTLAND

Authors Title
David Lazer, Waleed Meleis, Brooke Foucault Wells, Christoph Riedl, Jason Radford, Brian Keegan, Katya Ognyanova, Stefan Wojcik, Jefferson Hoye and Ceyhun Karbeyaz Performing Massively Open Online Social Experiments with Volunteer Science
Jordan W. Suchow, Thomas J. H. Morgan, Jessica Hamrick, Michael Pacer, Stephan C. Meylan and Thomas L. Griffiths Wallace: A platform for simulating cultural evolution in structured populations online
Eyal Pe’er, Sonam Samat, Laura Brandimarte and Alessandro Acquisti Beyond the Turk: An empirical comparison of alternative platforms for crowdsourcing online research
Jolie Martin Using Surveys to Enhance Insights from Online Experiments at Pinterest
Ragan Petrie, Marco Castillo and Clarence Wardell Friends Asking Friends for Charity: an Online Field Experiment and Giving Behavior
Giovanna d’Adda, Valerio Capraro and Massimo Tavoni Behavioural spillovers and policy instruments

We are pleased to announce the accepted presentations for COBE 2015 (the workshop on Crowdsourcing and Online Behavioral Experiments at the ACM Conference on Economics and Computation). Thanks to all who contributed!

COBE INFORMATION
Date: June 16, 2015. 9 AM – 11:15 AM.
Location: Portland, OR. A workshop before the 16th ACM Conference on Electronic Commerce: http://www.sigecom.org/ec15/ which takes place June 15-19, 2015.

Topics of Interest:

  • Crowdsourcing
  • Online behavioral experiments
  • Online field experiments
  • Online natural or quasi-experiments
  • Online surveys
  • Human Computation

Program Committee:

  • Andrew Mao, Harvard University
  • Akitaka Matsuo, Oxford University
  • David Reiley, Pandora
  • Eric Johnson, Columbia Business School
  • Gabriele Paolacci, Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Jenn Wortman Vaughan, Microsoft Research
  • Lydia Chilton, University of Washington
  • Sam Gosling, University of Texas, Austin
  • Sean Taylor, Facebook
  • Sven Seuken, University of Zurich
  • Tara Mcallister Byun, New York University
  • Ulf-Dietrich Reips, University of Konstanz

Cocktails: As always, you are welcome to enjoy cocktails at the bar with us after COBE in the evening. It’s a tradition!

See you at COBE!
Siddharth Suri, Microsoft Research NYC
Winter A. Mason, Facebook
Daniel G. Goldstein, Microsoft Research NYC

May 6, 2015

SJDM conference Chicago, Nov 20-23, 2015

Filed in SJDM ,SJDM-Conferences
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SOCIETY FOR JUDGMENT AND DECISION MAKING 2015 DEADLINE JUNE 20

ch.2

The Society for Judgment and Decision Making (SJDM) invites abstracts for oral presentations and posters on any interesting topic related to judgment and decision making. Completed manuscripts are not required.

LOCATION, DATES, AND PROGRAM

SJDM’s annual conference will be held in Chicago, Illinois, November 20-23, 2015. The conference will take place at the Hilton Chicago. Plenary events will include a keynote talk on Sunday, November 22nd delivered by Max Bazerman and an interview with Danny Kahneman on Saturday, November 21st conducted by Leif Nelson.

SUBMISSIONS

The deadline for submissions is June 20, 2015, end of the day. Submissions for symposia, oral presentations, and posters should be made through the SJDM website at http://www.sjdm.org/abstract-review/htdocs Technical questions can be addressed to the webmaster, Jon Baron, at webmaster at sjdm.org. All other questions can be addressed to the program chair, Katherine Milkman, at kmilkman at wharton.upenn.edu.

ELIGIBILITY

At least one author of each presentation must be a member of SJDM. Joining at the time of submission will satisfy this requirement. You may join SJDM at http://www.sjdm.org/join.html. An individual may give only one talk and present only one poster, but may be a co-author on multiple talks and/or posters. Please note that both the membership rule and the one-talk/one-poster rule will be strictly enforced.

NOTE FOR NON-US CITIZENS REQUIRING VISAS

Travelers from certain countries may need extra lead time to obtain travel documents. Although we are unable to accept talks early, we can provide notification of an “accepted presentation.” This means that you would at least be guaranteed a poster. We can do this because posters are typically evaluated only for content and most are accepted. If you submit a talk, you will receive a notice of an accepted presentation immediately, and a decision on your talk at the usual time. To take advantage of this option, you should still submit through the regular process, and also send a request to the program chair, Katherine Milkman, at kmilkman at wharton.upenn.edu.

AWARDS

The Best Student Poster Award is given for the best poster presentation whose first author is a student member of SJDM.

The Hillel Einhorn New Investigator Award is intended to encourage outstanding work by new researchers. Applications are due June 30, 2015. Further details are available at http://www.sjdm.org/awards/einhorn.html. Questions can be directed to Neil Stewart, neil.stewart at warwick.ac.uk.

The Jane Beattie Memorial Fund subsidizes travel to North America for a foreign scholar in pursuits related to judgment and decision research, including attendance at the annual SJDM meeting. Further details will be available at http://www.sjdm.org/awards/beattie.html.

PROGRAM COMMITTEE

Katherine Milkman (Chair), Jack Soll, Nina Mazar, Suzanne Shu, Katherine Burson, Anuj Shah, Ana Franco-Watkins, Meng Li, and Mare Appleby (conference coordinator)

HILLEL EINHORN NEW INVESTIGATOR AWARD

The Society for Judgment and Decision Making is inviting submissions for the Hillel Einhorn New Investigator Award. The purpose of this award is to encourage outstanding work by new researchers. Individuals are eligible if they have not yet completed their Ph.D. or if they have completed their Ph.D. within the last five years (on or after July 1, 2010). To be considered for the award, please submit a journal-style manuscript on any topic related to judgment and decision making.

In the case of co-authored papers, if the authors are all new investigators they can be considered jointly; otherwise, the new investigator(s) must be the primary author(s) and should be the primary source of ideas. Submissions in dissertation format will not be considered, but articles based on a dissertation are encouraged. Both reprints of published articles and manuscripts that have not yet been published are acceptable.

Submissions will be judged by a committee appointed by the Society. To be considered, submissions must be received by 30 June, 2015. The committee will announce the results to the participants by 15 October 2015. The award will be announced and presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Judgment and Decision Making. The winner will be invited to give a presentation at that meeting. If the winner cannot obtain full funding from his/her own institution to attend the meeting, an application may be made to the Society for supplemental travel needs. This notice is here:

http://www.sjdm.org/awards/einhorn.html

with a link to the submission system here:

http://www.sjdm.org/awards/einhorn.upload.html

April 28, 2015

Winning streaks in baseball

Filed in Encyclopedia ,Ideas ,R
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HOW RARE ARE STREAKS?

longestStreakPerSeason.s

The New York Mets recently won 11 games in a row, which got a lot of attention.

How likely is it that a given baseball team will win 11 games in a row by chance, if its probability of winning a single game is 50%?

The plot below shows that if a baseball team plays 100 seasons of 162 games, they’ll have an streak of 11 wins in a row about 7 to 8 times a century (about every 13 years on average). If they’re a really good team that wins 60% of the time in the long run, they’ll have an 11 game winning streak 55 times per century (about every 2 years).

Streaks aren’t weird, they’re expected. The graph up top shows that for a team that wins 50% of the time, the most likely outcome is that they’ll have a six game winning streak in a typical 162 game season. There’s an 8% chance their longest streak in a season will be 10 wins or more.

For the gifted team that wins 60% of the time, an eight game winning streak is the most likely outcome in a season, and there’s a 32% chance they’ll have a streak of 10 wins or more.

StreaksPerCentury.s

Fans of R and ggplot2 can reproduce the plots with the code below.