Posts tagged ‘wrong question’

Regain your confidence (intervals)

Next time you see someone “misinterpret” a confidence interval, wait a second.  They’re actually probably okay. Continue reading ‘Regain your confidence (intervals)’ »

The better the question, the worse the answer

Justin Wolfers wrote recently about the level of interaction between economics and other social sciences.  In particular, he wonders why economic work is not well represented in a list of the books most cited in social science research.  It’s a good question: I find many of the tools and techniques developed by economists are useful in my works studying political phenomena, and I do cite economic research.

One particularly thoughtful commenter on Wolfers’ post notes that economics combines the controversy of addressing everyday issues with the general inaccessibility of chemistry.  This conflict may make some people resist the conclusions of economists, ie. strong prior + incomprehensible evidence = small amount of updating.

Continue reading ‘The better the question, the worse the answer’ »

You’re Asking the Wrong Question, Fortunately

Today I got up, finishing a decision I started last night about how much to sleep before today.  I will choose my attire to fit the weather and strike the right tone in the classes I will teach. I will go to work and spend the day at work making optimal decisions about how to allocate my time and effort considering my immediate goals, teaching effectively and  preparing for an experiment, and longer term goals like getting along with my peers and building my tenure packet.  I will come home along a route that balances safety, convenience, fuel economy, and curiosity.  I will talk with my wife, play with my daughter, read to my son, all with an eye toward building both their individual lives and my relationships with them.  I may make a few allocation decisions about improving our house or saving for retirement.  I will decide whether to work out tomorrow morning, then  begin the decision about how much to sleep before tomorrow.

Continue reading ‘You’re Asking the Wrong Question, Fortunately’ »