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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

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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 a parent moves up in the income distribution, the chance that their child goes to college 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

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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

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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.

April 24, 2015

14th TIBER Symposium on Psychology and Economics, Tilburg

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DEADLINE JUNE 7, 2015

tiber

The Tilburg Institute for Behavioral Economics Research is happy to announce the 14th TIBER Symposium on Psychology and Economics, to be held on August 27, 2015 at Tilburg University.

The goal of this series of symposia is to establish contact and discussion between Economists, Psychologists, Marketing researchers and others who work on Behavioral Decision Making, either in individual or interdependent settings. We look for empirical contributions from diverse fields, such as Individual Decision Making, Consumer Behavior, Bargaining, Social Dilemmas, Experimental Games, Emotions, Fairness and Justice, Rational Choice, and related subjects.

The symposium consists of two keynotes, a number of parallel sessions with presentations of 20 minutes, and a poster session. We are proud to have Maya Bar-Hillel of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (http://psychology.huji.ac.il/en/?cmd=Faculty.125&act=read&id=32) and Armin Falk of the University of Bonn (http://www.cens.uni-bonn.de/team/board/armin-falk) as this year’s keynote speakers.

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS

If you would like to contribute by presenting your research, we invite you to submit an abstract of max. 250 words. On the basis of these abstracts we will select presenters for the parallel sessions and the poster session. Please keep in mind the following dates:

June 7 Deadline for submission of abstracts
June 15 Selection of speakers
August 27 Symposium at Tilburg University

Submit your abstract and find more information about the symposium on our website: http://www.tilburguniversity.edu/tiber14/

If you have any questions regarding the symposium, feel free to contact Arnoud Plantinga (a.plantinga@tilburguniversity.edu).

April 17, 2015

Be a Russell Sage Foundation Visiting Scholar

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GET PAID TO THINK FOR AN ACADEMIC YEAR WHILE ENJOYING SUBSIDIZED HOUSING IN NYC

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Visiting Scholar Program at the Russell Sage Foundation

The RSF Visiting Scholar Fellowship provides a unique opportunity for select scholars in the social, economic and behavioral sciences to pursue their research and writing at the Foundation’s New York headquarters. The Foundation annually awards up to 17 residential fellowships to select scholars in the social sciences who are at least several years beyond the Ph.D. Visiting Scholar positions begin September 1st and run through June 30th.

Scholars are provided with an office at the Foundation and supplemental salary support of up to 50 percent of their academic year salary (up to a maximum of $110,000). Scholars who reside outside the greater New York City area are also provided with a partially-subsidized apartment near the Foundation.

Applications for the 2016-2017 RSF Visiting Scholar Fellowship are due by June 30, 2015. A number of changes to the program have recently occurred, such as allowing prior scholars to return for a second visit. More detailed information on the program, along with links to the application portal, eligibility requirements and guidelines, and frequently asked questions can be found here (http://www.russellsage.org/how-to-apply#scholars). Questions about the program can be directed to Senior Program Officer James Wilson (james at rsage.org).

April 10, 2015

All the people in the world could stand in New York City

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OR IN A CUBE-SHAPED BUILDING THAT IS 5 CROSSTOWN BLOCKS PER SIDE

NYC1

We at Decision Science News like putting things into perspective. This is why we bothered putting the size of countries into perspective by comparing them to US states. (Stay tuned for our next post on this topic in which we match states to countries on the basis of both area and population. Who doesn’t want to know things like “Israel is about as big as New Jersey in both size and population”?)

Anyway, we were reading the Internet, as we sometimes do, when we came across the finding (published here and promoted here) that you could fit every person on the earth within the city limits of New York City.

And that’s assuming a flat NYC with no buildings. Considering that much of NYC is built up, you could fit them into even less space by using the advanced technology of multi-story buildings. In fact, you’ll see at the original post that everybody in the world could fit in a cube-shaped building that is just 5 crosstown blocks per side. That is, in a building that would easily fit in Manhattan, like this:

Cube1

Image credit: WaitButWhy.com

These calcs depend on the assumption that you can fit 10 people into a square meter, which was counterintuitive to us. But take this into account:

  • You may be thinking of a square yard, but a square meter is bigger. 20% bigger actually.
  • Much of the world is kids, and the post teaches us that you can pack 22 kids into a square meter.
  • You can fit 9 grownups into a square meter.

Given all this, 10 per square meter is totes reasonable, as is the assumption that the whole world would fit in the borders of New York City.

Image credit:http://waitbutwhy.com/2015/03/7-3-billion-people-one-building.html, which is also the site that figured this all out in the first place.

March 31, 2015

Third Annual Workshop on Crowdsourcing and Online Behavioral Experiments (COBE 2015)

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COBE 2015. CALL FOR PAPERS. SUBMISSION DEADLINE APRIL 30, 2015

ec15

Official COBE website

Overview

The World Wide Web has resulted in new and unanticipated avenues for conducting large-scale behavioral experiments. Crowdsourcing sites like Amazon Mechanical Turk, and oDesk have given researchers access to a large participant pool that operates around the world and around the clock. As a result, behavioral researchers in academia have turned to crowdsourcing sites in large numbers. Moreover, websites like eBay, Yelp and Reddit have become places where researchers can conduct field experiments. Companies like Microsoft, Facebook, Google and Yahoo! conduct hundreds of randomized experiments on a daily basis. We may be reaching a point where most behavioral experiments will be done online.

The main purpose of this workshop is to bring together researchers conducting behavioral experiments online to share new results, methods and best practices.

Basic Information

  • Submission Deadline: April 30, 2015
  • Notification Date: May 15, 2015
  • Workshop Date: June 16, 2015. 9 AM – 11:15 AM.
  • Cocktails: At the Bar
  • 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. The COBE workshop is the 16th.

Topics of Interest

Topics of interest for the workshop include but are not limited to:

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

Paper Submission

Submit papers electronically by visiting https://www.easychair.org/conferences/?conf=cobe2015, logging in or creating an account, and clicking New Submission at the top left.

Submissions are non-archival, meaning contributors are free to publish their results subsequently in archival journals or conferences. There will be no published proceedings. Submissions should be 1-2 pages including references. Accepted papers will be presented as talks of 18 minutes in length.

Organizing Committee

Program Committee

  • Andrew Mao, Harvard University
  • Andrew Stephen, University of Pittsburgh, Katz Graduate School of Business
  • Akitaka Matsuo, Oxford University
  • David Reiley, Pandora
  • Eric Johnson, Columbia University Graduate School of  Business
  • Edith Law, Harvard University
  • 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

March 25, 2015

Society for Medical Decision Making conference: Oct 18-21, 2015, St. Louis

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ABSTRACT DEADLINE MAY 22, 2015

stl

What: 37th Annual North American Meeting of the Society for Medical Decision Making
Where: St. Louis, MO
Hotel: Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch
When: Oct 18-21, 2015
Abstract Submission Deadline: May 22, 2015
Conference Website
Abstract Submission

The Society for Medical Decision Making (SMDM) is accepting abstracts for its 37th Annual North American Meeting: Implementation. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) define Implementation Science as “the study of methods to promote the integration of research findings and evidence into healthcare policy and practice.” SMDM is uniquely positioned to bring experts from a broad range of health science disciplines together to explore implementation and exchange ideas on how to improve the translation of research findings into better bedside care and health care utilization.

SMDM is interested in a broad approach to the study of medical decision making, including (but not limited to) psychology and behavioral economics. Research on healthcare implementation is particularly encouraged, but not required. The meeting will be held October 18-21 in St. Louis Missouri. The deadline for abstract submission is Friday, May 22nd, 2015.