SL 698

 

Steve is a big fan of New York State Rye.

I’m fascinated by academics who cross the line into mainstream world. This one got burned, but it’s still an interesting story.

Swedish death cleaning.

I adore these shoes. If you guys use Amazon through the Apt. 11D links over the holidays, I’ll buy myself a pair.

 

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21 thoughts on “SL 698

  1. That NY Times article caused me a brief internet meltdown (you know, one of those things where you have to stay up to fix something that is wrong on the internet).

    Cuddy didn’t get burned, I think, in my opinion. Following a high profile article and then an entree into the TED talk/speaker circuit world, she stopped being a scientist (to the extent that people at Harvard Business School are scientists) and became an entertainer.

    I spent time yesterday reading up on power posing (the subject of Cuddy’s original study & TED talk). The original study argued that briefly being manipulated into a “power” or expansive pose (example: legs on top of a desk), increased feelings of being powerful, subsequent risk taking behavior, and increased testosterone (associated with risk taking, feeling more powerful) and decreased cortisol (associated with stress). Cuddy wove this study– which suggested quick positive fixes– together with her personal experience of recovering from traumatic brain injury and a powerful speaking style and photogenic good looks into a significant mainstream, non-academic public speaking gig. A few years after the publication of the original study, there were a string of replication failures, the latest culminating in a 2017 study that failed to replicate any of
    the original studies effects. My conclusion is that the original study that launched Cuddy into the mainstream world was flawed and has not been replicated, and is probably wrong.

    There was a strong implication in the NY Times article, and in many of the comments that Cuddy was targeted because she was a woman. But, I think that it was the work that was targeted (at least by the other scientists — I’m sure she got significant online internet harassment, as does every woman on the internet) in appropriate scientific ways. All in all, that is how science is supposed to work, and we are now supposed to move on from the belief that power posing is a meaningful intervention that can help people gain confidence and succeed (at, say, job interviews).

    1. Andrew Gelman seems to go after anyone he thinks does shoddy work. There are a number of men on that list. I also don’t think she was singled out because she is woman.

  2. bj said:

    “A few years after the publication of the original study, there were a string of replication failures, the latest culminating in a 2017 study that failed to replicate any of
    the original studies effects.”

    Oooooh! One of those.

    I’m very impressed that there was funding for attempts at replication. More, please!

    I liked the Swedish death cleaning piece. I shared that with a forum I’m on, and the consensus was that it’s a very thoughtful and loving thing to do. My grandpa, who is 96 and mostly Swedish-American, recently freshened up their lawn stuff. He says, “I don’t want to leave a bunch of junk.” The grandparents have done a number of home improvements and some giveaways over the last 10 years.

  3. The two major (non) replications were done in European universities, so I’m not sure how the funding worked. Except for the saliva testing to look for changes in hormone levels (I don’t know how much that costs), the experiments could be done with fairly low budgets.

    Also, both proposed follow-up questions — the 2017 study proposed to test whether overconfidence that lead to excessive risk taking, and whether that was associated with testosterone levels, with the presumption that “overconfidence” would be engendered by assuming power poses. They failed to find an effect of the power poses, and thus couldn’t do the rest of the study.

    (And, I’m guessing that the high profile TED talk was not irrelevant to the finding of time and energy to do the replications, for people who had some money).

    1. bj said:

      “(And, I’m guessing that the high profile TED talk was not irrelevant to the finding of time and energy to do the replications, for people who had some money).”

      So, hoist by her own petard? Had it been lower-profile, the research would still stand.

  4. My parents’ house is on the market now, so I can see pictures of the empty house on Zillow. Swedish death cleaning wouldn’t have made it much easier, I don’t think. At least it looks like it will sell in under a week.

    1. Right off the bat, I have to ask what’s the 2016 estimated TFR for, say Bangladesh? Nepal, Burma, Peru, Indonesia, Mongolia, Morocco and Sri Lanka?

      I won’t be surprised if you don’t know off the top of your head, but Thompson surely should have looked into the demographics before pairing “low birth rates” and “advanced economies” as the very first premise that he is building his article on. All eight of those countries have TFR between 2.1 and 2.2; that is, just barely above replacement.

      There’s been a demographic revolution over, say, the last quarter century. Low birth rates are everywhere. With four exceptions, TFR of 4 or higher is entirely a phenomenon of sub-Saharan Africa. As of 2016, only two countries on the face of the earth had TFR above 6. India’s TFR is 2.45.

      Low birth rates are everywhere.

      I’ll keep reading because sometimes Thompson is interesting, but his first premise is very, very shaky.

      1. Well there has to be some reason white Americans voted for Trump that doesn’t involve racism. Because if it involved racism, white people would be very sad to learn that and thus it’s obviously false.

      2. Doug said,

        “I won’t be surprised if you don’t know off the top of your head, but Thompson surely should have looked into the demographics before pairing “low birth rates” and “advanced economies” as the very first premise that he is building his article on. All eight of those countries have TFR between 2.1 and 2.2; that is, just barely above replacement.”

        I have actually been geeking out about that sort of thing lately. I think it makes a big difference when the low birthrates started. The US, for example, has been in a low plateau for over the last 40 years (as have probably a number of other developed countries). A lot of the countries you are thinking about just got there.

        Also, replacement TFR for the US is 2.1. Since we’re at 1.84 TFR and a lot of Western (and Eastern) European countries have numbers in the 1.3-1.4 neighborhood, you don’t actually need Nigerian level numbers to be “high” compared to low-fertility countries.

        Interestingly, our famous Baby Boom (the highest US fertility level in the entire 20th century) peaked below a 3.7 TFR.

        http://www.prb.org/Publications/Datasheets/2014/2014-world-population-data-sheet/us-fertility-decline-factsheet.aspx

        There’s a really interesting chart there, showing the US starting the 20th century below 3.5, plunging through the 1920s to a Depression plateau of just over 2, then roaring up to the Baby Boom peak in the early 1960s (3.6ish), plunging below 2 in the early 1970s, then a long, long plateau (with wobbles) to the present day.

      3. There is an iTunes U course about Global Problems of Population Growth.

        https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/11-low-fertility-in-developed-countries-guest-lecture/id341651979?i=1000063752864&mt=2

        This links to an interesting guest lecture by Michael Teitelbaum.

        To keep the economies growing, hundreds of millions of immigrants would be needed. That is politically controversial in any country, to put it mildly.

        Another interesting feature of the new immigrants to our area is that they are far more publicly religious than the average resident. All of a sudden I’m seeing highway billboards citing bible verses, threatening motorists with the fires of Hell, in addition to new churches springing up in strip malls. In a way, it’s a return to the country’s founding Christian values, but it’s rather unexpected.

      4. All of a sudden I’m seeing highway billboards citing bible verses, threatening motorists with the fires of Hell, in addition to new churches springing up in strip malls. In a way, it’s a return to the country’s founding Christian values, but it’s rather unexpected.

        I don’t think that’s the immigrants in most cases, probably none of the billboards. I can assure you that those things are common in parts of the country that have not seen much immigration.

      5. So, curious, I found the sponsors online. Christian Aid Ministries.

        http://www.news-leader.com/story/news/local/ozarks/2017/08/22/reader-unsure-if-she-wants-know-answer-billboards-eternal-question-heaven-hell/589925001/

        They’re headquartered in Ohio. People are apparently willing to donate to Christian Aid. https://cdn.christianaidministries.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Financial-Statement-2016.pdf

        So we’re being proselytized by Ohioans. They’re immigrants to our fair state from Ohio. Searching for Ohioans, I found this article describing reactions to Ohioans: https://www.charlestoncitypaper.com/charleston/ohioans-have-invaded-the-lowcountry-and-some-folks-wish-they-would-leave/Content?oid=1946300.

      6. There’s also somebody going around putting up billboards about “values”. My favorite is the one with John Wayne’s picture and “Don’t much like quitters, son” as a caption. Also good for a “what about quitting smoking?” joke.

      7. Just this past weekend, I drove by a church with signs reading “Celebrating 20 years of Serving Yinz.” I wonder what happened in 1997 that made them switch gods?

    2. California is promoting equality? That’s news to me. Drive from Atherton to the Hispanic shantytowns where the nursemaids and gardeners live, then talk to me about equality.

      1. And check out the transit hours in and out of the beautiful coastal tourist towns. Often they are great for the hired help to go to and from work but for returning after hours for socializing? Suddenly no availability.

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