Getting ahead in the Lucrative Field of Data Massaging

Evan Warfel has an excellent comment on a post of Andrew Gelman's. Reproduced in full:
Perhaps we are teaching statistics backwards. Instead of teaching students to try and come up with the correct result, we could teach what it feels like to rationalize one’s way through to non-objectivity.

A final exam question might go: This dataset consists of 5 completely uncorrelated variables — I’ve labeled the columns as ‘weight of cat’, ‘probability of attrition’, ‘color of cat [in RGB]’, ‘current age of subject’ and ‘SAT verbal score’. Find a way to make 3 statistically significant correlations and one non-significant correlation. You get an extra point for each spurious t-test you can come up with. The catch is that your entire analysis has to form part of a coherent story. Bonus points go to the 5 most concise answers.

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