Skip to content
Archive of posts filed under the Decision Theory category.

A question about the piranha problem as it applies to A/B testing

Wicaksono Wijono writes: While listening to your seminar about the piranha problem a couple weeks back, I kept thinking about a similar work situation but in the opposite direction. I’d be extremely grateful if you share your thoughts. So the piranha problem is stated as “There can be some large and predictable effects on behavior, […]

Active learning and decision making with varying treatment effects!

In a new paper, Iiris Sundin, Peter Schulam, Eero Siivola, Aki Vehtari, Suchi Saria, and Samuel Kaski write: Machine learning can help personalized decision support by learning models to predict individual treatment effects (ITE). This work studies the reliability of prediction-based decision-making in a task of deciding which action a to take for a target […]

Treatment interactions can be hard to estimate from data.

Brendan Nyhan writes: Per #3 here, just want to make sure you saw the Coppock Leeper Mullinix paper indicating treatment effect heterogeneity is rare. My reply: I guess it depends on what is being studied. In the world of evolutionary psychology etc., interactions are typically claimed to be larger than main effects (for example, that […]

“The Long-Run Effects of America’s First Paid Maternity Leave Policy”: I need that trail of breadcrumbs.

Tyler Cowen links to a research article by Brenden Timpe, “The Long-Run Effects of America’s First Paid Maternity Leave Policy,” that begins as follows: This paper provides the first evidence of the effect of a U.S. paid maternity leave policy on the long-run outcomes of children. I exploit variation in access to paid leave that […]

What’s a good default prior for regression coefficients? A default Edlin factor of 1/2?

The punch line “Your readers are my target audience. I really want to convince them that it makes sense to divide regression coefficients by 2 and their standard errors by sqrt(2). Of course, additional prior information should be used whenever available.” The background It started with an email from Erik van Zwet, who wrote: In […]

C’est le fin! Riad Sattouf gagne.

Le mec japonais qui gagnait la competition pour manger les saucisses—alors, ça sonne mieux en anglais—M. Kobayashi était un grand « underdog », le cheval sombre de cet « mars fou », mais en fait je dois avancer le dessinateur, grâce à le poème de Dzhaughn: Please don’t ignore this dour crie de couer at […]

It’s the finals! The Japanese dude who won the hot dog eating contest vs. Riad Sattouf

I chose yesterday‘s winner based on this comment from Re’el: Hey, totally not related to this, but could offer any insight into this study: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/15/well/eat/eggs-cholesterol-heart-health.html It seems like something we go back and forth on and this study didn’t offer any insight. Thanks. Egg = oeuf, so we should choose the man whose name ends […]

Riad Sattouf (1) vs. Pele; the Japanese dude who won the hot dog eating contest advances

Lots of good arguments in favor of Bruce, but then this came from Noah: Hot-dog-garbled speech from Kobayashi recounting disgusting stories about ingesting absurdly large numbers of unchewed sausages and wet buns vs the gravelly, dulcet tones of New Jersey’s answer to John Mellencamp telling touching, timeless tales of musical world tours? The Boss in […]

It’s the semifinals! The Japanese dude who won the hot dog eating contest vs. Bruce Springsteen (1)

For our first semifinal match, we have an unseeded creative eater, up against the top-seeded person from New Jersey. It’s Coney Island vs. Asbury Park: the battle of the low-rent beaches. Again, we’re trying to pick the best seminar speaker. Here are the rules and here’s the bracket:

Pele wins. On to the semifinals!

Like others, I’m sad that Veronica Geng is out of the running, so I’ll have to go with Diana: Jonathan’s post-hoc argument for Geng was so good that I now have to vote for Pele, given that his name can be transformed into Geng’s through a simple row matrix operation (a gesture that just might […]

Pele vs. Meryl Streep; Riad Sattouf advances

Yesterday Dzhaughn gave a complicated argument but ultimately I couldn’t figure out if it was pro- or anti-Geng, so I had to go with Dalton’s straight shot: Geng has been accused of being “subtle to the point of unintelligibility.” So apparently ole V puts the “b” in subtle. So here’s to our man, Riad who […]

Riad Sattouf (1) vs. Veronica Geng; Bruce Springsteen advances

Personally, I’d rather hear Dorothy Parker, but I had to go with Dalton’s pitch: Ah, but Dorothy Parker is actually from New Jersey. In fact, both Bruce and Dorothy are members of the official New Jersey hall of fame (https://njhalloffame.org/hall-of-famers/). Both were born in Long Branch, NJ. But Bruce is backed up (literally) by another […]

Dorothy Parker (2) vs. Bruce Springsteen (1); the Japanese dude who won the hot dog eating contest advances

Dalton made an impressive argument, too complicated to summarize, in favor of Jim Thorpe, “the destroyer of hot dog vendors,” but this was countered by Thomas’s logic: Since Jim Thorpe is top dog in whatever he tries his hand at, his demise is now inevitable. And ultimately I had to go with Albert, who made […]

R package for Type M and Type S errors

Andy Garland Timm writes: My package for working with Type S/M errors in hypothesis testing, ‘retrodesign’, is now up on CRAN. It builds on the code provided by Gelman and Carlin (2014) with functions for calculating type S/M errors across a variety of effect sizes as suggested for design analysis in the paper, a function […]

Jim Thorpe (1) vs. the Japanese dude who won the hot dog eating contest

OK, now it starts to get interesting . . . Again, we’re trying to pick the best seminar speaker. Here are the rules and here’s the bracket so far:

Junk science + Legal system = Disaster

Javier Benitez points us to this horrifying story from Liliana Segura: “Junk Arson Science Sent Claude Garrett to Prison for Murder 25 Years Ago. Will Tennessee Release him?”

Meryl Streep advances; it’s down to the quarterfinals!

As Manuel put it, as Stephen Hawking might put it: It’s duets with Pierce Brosnan all the way down.

LeBron James (3) vs. Meryl Streep; Pele advances

Yesterday I was gonna go with Turing following Dalton’s eloquent argument: To his credit, Pele didn’t have to play in the era of VAR (video assistant referees). As last Tuesday’s Champions League game between Paris – Saint Germain and Manchester United (as well as the recent World Cup final between Croatia and France) demonstrate, there […]

Alan Turing (4) vs. Pele; Veronica Geng advances

I gotta go with Geng, based on this from Jonathan: I was all in on Geng, as you know, but I have no idea what she sounded like. But it’s not the voice is it? It’s the content. And listen to what Geng could do (Remorse, April 7, 1986) “I will also spend one hundred […]

Veronica Geng vs. Nora Ephron; Riad Sattouf advances

Not much going on in yesterday‘s Past vs. Future battle. Maybe we should’ve brought in Michael J. Fox as a guest judge . . . Anyway, the best argument in the comments came from Ethan: Since we can’t have Mr P let’s have Mr B. Ahhh, but we can have Mr P. We can always […]