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Let’s Redefine Statistical Significance

Researchers representing a wide range of disciplines and statistical perspectives—72 of us in total—propose to redefine statistical significance. For claims of discoveries of novel effects, we advocate a change in the P-value threshold for a “statistically significant” result from 0.05 to 0.005. Results currently called “significant” that do not meet the new threshold would be called suggestive and treated as ambiguous as to whether there is an effect.

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The Tension Between Traditional and Western Medicine

The tension between traditional and Western medical approaches may have large implications for global health. An evaluation of a hygiene information campaign in rural Pakistan shows that while people with weak traditional medical beliefs responded strongly to the program, people with strong beliefs did not. 

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Rerandomization: What is it and why should you use it for random assignment?

In this post, we explain the rerandomization procedure and provide an example to illustrate its benefits.  This topic will be of interest primarily to those involved with RCTs, and those interested in a relatively new, advantageous, and intuitive method for randomizing units into treatment groups.

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CESR Conference on Polygenic Prediction and its Application in the Social Sciences

The Center for Economic and Social Research at USC hosted the largest conference ever convened on the use of genetic data in the social sciences. More than 90 researchers from a wide range of disciplines discussed how polygenic scores (measures constructed from genetic variants across the genome) help predict behavioral traits.

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Economic Aspects of the Opioid Crisis

USC Presidential Professor and Nobel laureate Sir Angus Deaton testified before the Joint Economic Committee of the US Congress on economics and the opioid crisis on June 8, 2017.  This post is his prepared remarks. (more…)

Can We Learn from Mistakes? Development of Categorical Scoring Rubrics for Diagnostic Purposes

How can we learn about what a student can or cannot do from the mistakes they make? This post presents findings based on a new method that provide diagnostic information on student learning.

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Do You Promise? Using Soft-Commitments to Improve Savings Behavior

How can we help Americans improve their savings?  This blog post presents findings from a study suggesting that soft-commitment mechanisms that leverage intrinsic motivation can improve savings outcomes.

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The Hollowing Out of US Democracy

In this post, Peter Levine summarizes the discussion during his recent brown bag at CESR on “The Hollowing Out of Democracy,” including concerns about Civic Deserts and the need for more organizations with SPUD (Scale, Pluralism, Unity, Depth).

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The More the Heavier? Family Size and Childhood Obesity in the US

Are siblings good for you? This blog post presents findings from a study showing that having more siblings is associated with lower BMI and decreased likelihood of obesity.

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Are We All Snobs? How Personal Tastes Affect Our Judgment of Others

Do stereotypes of “high-brow” and “low-brow” tastes affect how Americans judge one another?  This post examines whether we respond more positively to people who display high status tastes.

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