Monday, August 14, 2017

The Economists' "Ride-hailing apps may help to curb drunk driving"

I think this is a good first day of class example.

It shows how data can make a powerful argument, that argument can be persuasively illustrated via data visualization, AND, maybe, it is a soft sell of a way to keep your students from drunk driving. It also touches on issues of public health, criminal justice, and health psychology.

This article from The Economist succinctly illustrates the decrease in drunk driving incidents over time using graphs.

This article is based on a working paper by PhD student Jessica Lynn (name twin!) Peck.

Graphs of drunk driving accidents x time
Also, maybe your students could brainstorm third variables that could explain the change. Also, New Yorkers: What's the deal with Staten Island? Did they outlaw Uber? Love drunk driving? 

Monday, August 7, 2017

Kim Kardashinan-West, Buzzfeed, and Validity

So, I recently shared a post detailing how to use the Cha-Cha Slide in your Intro Stats class.

Today? Today, I will provide you with an example of how to use Kim Kardashian to explain test validity.

So. Kim Kardashian-West stumbled upon a Buzzfeed quiz that will determine if you are more of a Kim Kardashian-West or more of a Chrissy Teigen. She Tweeted about it, see below.

And she went and took the test, BUT SHE DIDN'T SCORE AS A KIM!! SHE SCORED AS A CHRISSY! See below.

So, this test purports to assess one's Kim Kardashian-West-ness or one's Chrissy Teigan-ness. And it failed to measure what it claimed to measure as Kim didn't score as a Kim. So, not a valid measure. No word on how Chrissy scored.

And if you are in you teach people in their 30s, you could always use this example of the time Garbage's Shirley Manson did not score as Shirley Manson on an online quiz. 

Monday, July 31, 2017

Hickey's "The Ultimate Playlist Of Banned Wedding Songs"

I think this blog just peaked. Why? I'm giving you a way to use the Cha-Cha-Slide ("Everybody clap your hands!") as a tool to teach basic descriptive statistics.

Most Intro Stats teachers could use this within the first week of class, to describe rank order data, interval data, qualitative data, quantitative data, the author's choice of percentage frequency data instead of straight frequency.

Additionally, Hickey, writing for fivethirtyeight, surveyed two dozen wedding DJs about banned songs at 200 weddings. So, you can chat about research methodology as well. 

Finally, as a Pennsylvanian, it makes me so sad that people ban the Chicken Dance! How can you possibly dislike the Chicken Dance enough to ban it? Is this a class thing?