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Archive for 'Tools'

Are you Risk Literate?

Filed in Research News ,Tools
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THE BERLIN NUMERACY TEST We’ve written before about the challenges of communicating risks. Can people understand the risks inherent in their savings plans, loans, surgeries, or medications? This week, researchers have published a new instrument designed to very quickly assess exactly that (www.riskliteracy.org). We introduce the Berlin Numeracy Test, a new psychometrically sound instrument that […]

You’ve got the whole world in your portfolio

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A famous finance professor once told us that good diversification meant holding everything in the world. Fine, but in what proportion?

Suppose you could invest in every country in the world. How much would you invest in each? In a market-capitalization weighted index, you’d invest in each country in proportion to the market value of its investments (its “market capitalization”). As seen above, the market-capitalization of the USA is about 30%, which would suggest investing 30% of one’s portfolio in the USA. Similarly, one would put 8% in China, and so on. All this data was pulled from the World Bank, and at the end of this post we’ll show you how we did it.

Keep your files in sync for free

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It is not uncommon to have two computers at work, four at home and a server out on the wild, wild internet (that’s what we have, anyway … wait, we forgot one in London). How to keep all these files in sync? Here are our file synchronization tips.

Best graph ever

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Best graph ever. LARGEST EVER DIFFERENCE BETWEEN 328 and 327 SPOTTED IN NEW YORK CITY

The housing bubble by city

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The housing bubble by city. Miami sailed high and fell far. Detroit rose modestly and but dropped more than it went up. Dallas held steady. DC is enjoying a bit of renewed growth, but are in and New York yet to fall?

Area plots unmasked

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RESULTS OF THE GREAT AREA PLOT QUIZ If you are the type of reader who remembers things from last week, you may remember the great area plot quiz we had running. This week, we are excited to announce that the results are in. The plot above shows answers to the four questions. The correct answers […]

Once again, chart critics and graph gurus welcome

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HOW TO DISPLAY A LINE PLOT WITH COUNT INFORMATION? In a previously-mentioned paper Sharad and your DSN editor are writing up, there is the above line plot with points. The area of each point shows the count of observations. It’s done in R with ggplot2 (hooray for Hadley). We generally like this type of plot, […]

Defaults: Tools of choice architecture

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TYPES OF DEFAULTS AND HOW TO SET THEM Defaults are settings or choices that apply to individuals who do not take active steps to change them (Brown & Krishna, 2004). Collections of default settings, or “default configurations” determine the way products, services, or policies are initially encountered by consumers, while “reuse defaults” come into play […]

Visualizations of US neighborhoods by race and ethnicity

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HOMOPHILY + MAPS WITHOUT MAPPING SOFTWARE In the past, Decision Science News has posted about homophily (“birds of a feather shop together“) and cool, lightweight visualizations (“maps without map packages in R“). Today, both topics come together in Eric Fischer’s fascinating set of images on Flickr called “Race and Ethnicity”(*).  According to Eric: Red is […]

Small investors flee the stock market

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THE POTENTIAL FOR A BOND BUBBLE Small investors have been a lot of fun to watch for quite some time now. In the 1930s, doing the opposite of the small investors (the so-called “odd lot” crowd because they could not afford to trade in amounts as large as standard units) was a popular contrarian strategy. […]