Skip to main content


Showing posts from August, 2016

Do Olympians Get Too Much Exercise? - The New York Times

This article in the NY Times is to some degree an example of the problem of survivor bias, or generalizing from the few successful individuals to all individuals Do Olympians Get Too Much Exercise?

My comment: One obvious problem with this type of study, is that athletes that might have developed issues might no longer engage in, and might have previously given up, said activities. If you only look at the winners, and not the losers, one gets an unfair picture of the effect or traits on all participants. Yes, you know that the winners did not have problems, but what about those that gave the activity up, or died?

Fifty States of Anxiety - The New York Times

An article, Fifty States of Anxiety in the NY Times annoyed me a bit, and it highlighted what happens when people do not look at all the relevant variables. It also seems that the author seems to have expressed his opinion in a way that was not supported by the data. The fact that his analysis did not match his data indicates his bias.

My comment:
As I mentioned in another post, there are regional differences in personality, and if you only know anxiety and red-state blue dichotomies the map makes no sense. What you need are 3 dimensions of the Big Five personality inventory, openness to experience, neuroticism, and conscientiousness. Also, you need to know that the strongest predictor of liberal leaning is openness, while there is also a slight correlation with conscientiousness and conservatism. Neuroticism has no relationship with political orientation.
When one realizes that the strong openness areas are the Pacific and NorthEast regions, and the strong conscientiousness region is …