I recently sat through some great grad student presentations. Most of those presenting empirical results made a common mistake: they kept way too many digits in their presented results. There are two problems with showing more digits than necessary: false certainty and lack of clarity. The extra certainty is certainly false because we know how accurate the estimated coefficients are: that’s exactly what the standard errors tell us! Extra digits reduce clarity by cluttering up an already hard-to-read table with extra, unnecessary information.
Archive for March 2010