Remove data labels and change data values to reduce bias in research!

Decades ago, physicists including Richard Feynman noticed something worrying. New estimates of basic physical constants were often closer to published values than would be expected given standard errors of measurement1. They realized that researchers were more likely to ‘confirm’ past results than refute them — results that did not conform to their expectation were more…

One-study wonders, research, and the minimum wage

Megan McArdle provides a nice overview of what we know about minimum wage hikes. What really struck me was her comments on “one-study wonders”: Alas, if only economic analysis were so easy. In fact, it’s very hard to study what happens when we raise the minimum wage. The people confidently proclaiming their ability to see the future…

Who is exaggerating research findings in the media?

Interesting question: is it academic researchers overselling their findings, or journalists hyping their story? The researchers found that 33 to 40 percent of the academic press releases exaggerated causation, advice, or inference in some way, and that the news articles took those claims and published them as is, or, in some cases, exaggerated them even…