Causes of Effects…and Effects of Causes

Andrew Gelman and Guido Imbens recently posted a paper entitled "Why Ask Why? Forward Causal Inference and Reverse Causal Questions." It completely made my day, primarily because it succinctly deals with the way people naturally arrive at research questions with the help of some statistical logic.  While I liked the models and the logic, what I … Continue reading Causes of Effects…and Effects of Causes

Social Network Analysis: A cool analysis of how SNA worked during the American Revolution

Lots of people saw Kieran Healy's humorous and thought proviking post about how some very basic matrix algebra and centrality analysis can be used to identify people within social networks using basic metadata.  This article by Shin Kap Han goes into more depth about centrality and the power of weak bonds; I found the analysis of the … Continue reading Social Network Analysis: A cool analysis of how SNA worked during the American Revolution

Samoa update: A little informed consent, a lot of economics

I'm embracing my status as a political scientist working in the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MCIT).  While a lot of my experience in the tech space tends to be tool-centric, I'm finding more and more that the challenges on the user end (in this case Samoa) are related to policy and economics. The … Continue reading Samoa update: A little informed consent, a lot of economics

Unpacking P-values: Turning statistical significance into practical significance

I often get questions about the veracity of using statistics to understand conflict and political behavior, especially when using predictive or confirmatory analytic methods.  The questions are well founded, since a recent article found that potentially up to 54% of statistical results in the medical field are spurious.  This should give social scientists pause, since … Continue reading Unpacking P-values: Turning statistical significance into practical significance

“Crowdsharing” and Violence Prevention

One thing I'm working on in my doctoral research is understanding why crowdsourcing works in conflict management and resolution...or should at least logically work based on the various theories of conflict management and resolution developed and refined over the last 40 or so years.  In this post, I'm going to use Kenyan election violence as … Continue reading “Crowdsharing” and Violence Prevention