Friday, February 22, 2013

The Onion's "Multiple stab wounds may be harmful to monkeys"

Calm down. This is a satirical video from TheOnion that goes into gory detail about a research project that suggests that stabbing may be fatal in monkeys. I show it in my statistics classes because it touches on 1) research methods, 2) replication and extension, and 3) control groups (monkeys who were merely punched). And it is comedy gold.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

CBS News/New York Times' Poll: Gays in the Military

Words can be powerful and value-laden. This can have an impact upon survey responses, as it did for this survey about attitudes towards gays serving in the military. This survey was taken in 2010, and gays can now openly serve in the military, but I still think this example is still a powerful way of teaching the weight of words when creating surveys.

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I tend to use this as an extra credit, asking my students to respond to two questions:

Friday, February 15, 2013

Dataset Generator from Dr. Richard Landers

So. I shared my little blog on the Teaching of Psychology list serv last week. And within the next 24 hours, I received about 1000 page views, which blew my mind. Honestly, I know it can be an up-hill battle to teach statistics and I love the idea that maybe I'm giving my colleagues some new ideas to spice up their classes.

Better yet, I received emails from fellow psychologists with websites to share. One of these psychologists was Dr. Richard Landers from Old Dominion University.

So, is it just me, or has anyone else thought, "Gosh, I wish I could just create a data set for <insert statistical test here> that would be <sig/ns> so that I could ensure that my students had the experience of analyzing that kind of test?"

Well, Richard's website will provide you with exactly that! Not only do you get the data set, but you get the APA write up and output for the data as well! Richard created it as a study guide for his students but I can see where an instructor would benefit from it as well.

Additionally, here is a link to Richard's lab website

Thanks, Richard! Additionally, if anyone else has any ideas for good sites to share, please email me.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Hunks of Statistics: Sharon Begley

I decided that I shouldn't limit my Hunks of Statistics list to man-hunks. There are some lady-hunks as well. Like Sharon Begley.

Sharon Begley, from

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Dilbert, 4/13/04

I like to use this comic for extra credit points on the big Sampling Distribution of the Mean/Central Limit Theorem statistics exams.

Property of Scott Adams
Typically, I ask my students to identify the flaw in Dogbert's data collection technique, and the student reply with some variation of 1) sample size and 2) the data can not be provided by anyone who has been killed. I did have one smart ass reply, "Dogs can't talk". I gave him the extra credit points. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Onion's "Pre-Game Coin Toss Makes Jacksonville Jaguars Realize Randomness Of Life"

I use this video clip to introduce probability, especially since I focus on the Equal Likelihood Outcome model. Also, I work at a liberal arts university, so all of my students have had Introduction to Philosophy by the time they take my statistics class (which can make this video funny in a different way).

Sunday, February 3, 2013

CNN's History of the Super Bowl: By the numbers

Seems appropriate. I like football, but I LOVE data. For a better look in case you don't have bionic eyes or a magnifying glass next to your screen, check out CNN for the original graphics. Given the trends within the points spread, it looks like the games are becoming more competitive over time. And the linebackers are getting scarier over time.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Naussicaa Distributions on Etsy

Looking for a gift for your Valentine? May I suggest the wares of  Naussicaa Distributions over at Etsy. This vendor is a statistics wiz and sells all sorts of statistic themed gifts. I have purchased gifts from her for myself and others and she has always been easy to work with. Note: I'm not secretly her. I'm not making any money off of this.

Now, this posting is of limited educational value but my students did find Naussicaa's Etsy store mildly amusing (especially the p-value shirt) and it served as a way to convince my students I'm not the only person out there geeking out about statistics.

Teach your students about research methods...

Property of Naussicaa Distribution