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Physics Colloquium: "Physicists do social science: the case of GREs"

Event Type
Seminar/Symposium
Sponsor
Department of Physics
Date
Nov 17, 2021   4:00 pm  
Speaker
Professor Michael Weissman
Contact
Marjorie Gamel
E-Mail
mgamel@illinois.edu
Phone
217-377-3762
Views
114
Originating Calendar
Physics - Colloquium

To set educational policy, physicists have to do some social science. Here I look at the most publicized paper on the most prominent current issue: the use of GREs in admission. The paper makes numerous elementary statistics errors: variance inflation by unnecessary collinearity and by unnecessary stratification, collider stratification bias, bias from improper imputation of missing data, conflating failure to reject a null with confirmation of the null, eccentric use of subsamples,  invention of a new way to inflate error bars by an order of magnitude, and omission of needed data. The sign of each error tends to support the authors' prior hypothesis. I draw two morals: we need stats education and we need to recommit to scientific honesty.

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