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Archive → July, 2012

This Article Needs a Graph

Check out this JustSayNow article, seriously in need of a graph. As the author states,”While correlation is not causation, I think it is interesting that the top ranked cities for creativity all have extremely tolerant attitudes toward marijuana use.” While not actually ripe for statistical analysis as described, how might these variables be operationalized?

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Welcome, Again

Welcome, Again: This site has gone through several iterations, first as an idea proposed in an Ask Reddit thread, then the creation of the first few posts you see here. The site was built in 2010, although work ended quickly with a post offering to give the site away to a good home.

Several years later, I had a similar idea for a site to be used in courses related to statistics or research methods. I teach in the Sociology and Criminology Department at a mid-sized university, and am also a web hobbyist. After researching domain names, I bought statfail.com and soon discovered this domain had been previously developed. Archive.org presented a site very similar to what you see here. I liked the design and the content offered a good start in my web-based examination of the perils and prospects of statistical analysis. The site also had a decent Google pagerank, which feed into my curious hobby. Rather than start at zero, I contacted the original developer for permission to use this content. Thank you Decabear for agreeing to allow this content to be recycled.

Additional content will be added in time. While often comical, the correlations presented here may be closer to the reality of today’s media that we care to admit. The goal is to help my students, and various site visitors, become more critical of statistical analysis. In particular, we examine the confusion of correlation and causation.

Time order may come into play as well. For now, I am going to step outside, open my umbrella, and cause it to rain.

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