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Thread: Trump Rallies, Hate Crimes and Why Methodology Matters

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    tWebber Teallaura's Avatar
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    Trump Rallies, Hate Crimes and Why Methodology Matters

    Source: Reason.com

    No, Trump Rallies Didn't Increase Hate Crimes by 226 Percent

    © Copyright Original Source



    Source: Reason.com

    Is that where the story ends? Not quite. Using the same data and statistical procedures as Feinberg et al., we replicated their study's headline result. Since we did not have access to the original paper's data and code, this involved collecting each of the variables mentioned in the original paper, and then independently performing the same analysis. Wherever possible, we copied the decisions that are mentioned in the original paper. Our headline results were very close to those reported in the original paper.

    Using additional data we collected, we also analyzed the effect of Hillary Clinton's campaign rallies using the identical statistical framework. The ostensible finding: Clinton rallies contribute to an even greater increase in hate incidents than Trump rallies.

    Source

    © Copyright Original Source



    Read the article - they go into some depth on how even well intentioned researchers can get things way wrong. In this case the problem was a really stupid mistake - anyone could have caught it had they read first, published later - but virtually no one did. A big part of that is this perverse race to see who can hate Trump the most - the rest is a combination of extremely poor science education (theories no one uses, check; methodology, nah) and pure laziness.

    Yet we make policy decisions on equally crappy footing - we laugh at people who think the Earth is flat but ignore our own inability to understand polling methodology. Which one do we base policy on?



    Last edited by Teallaura; 09-07-2019 at 04:10 PM.

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  3. #2
    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    So basically they compared locations where Trump spoke with locations he didn't. Which means high population areas with more hate crimes in general than lower population areas. Because like any politician Trump will speak in areas with large populations to get the most people attending.

    They should have compared the hate crimes in the same location before and after Trump visited.

  4. Amen Teallaura amen'd this post.
  5. #3
    tWebber Teallaura's Avatar
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    Yuppers. The fun thing was that, using the same methodology, Clinton showed a higher correlation.

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    Evolution is God's ID rogue06's Avatar
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    The original researchers also appear to have rolled into their analysis a whole bunch of stuff that aren't hate crimes in order to get the numbers that they were looking for.

    I'm always still in trouble again

    "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" -- starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)

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  8. #5
    What's that? lilpixieofterror's Avatar
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    And things like this is why many are have less trust for people who say “This study says...” which often already agrees with their world view. Reminds me of those that were all giddy when they thought a study said that conservatives prefer authoritarians, but it turned out the opposite was true.
    "The man from the yacht thought he was the first to find England; I thought I was the first to find Europe. I did try to found a heresy of my own; and when I had put the last touches to it, I discovered that it was orthodoxy."
    GK Chesterton; Orthodoxy

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    tWebber Teallaura's Avatar
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    This goes in to some of the issues with p values and a tiny bit into related issues with how studies are published.

    I admit, it's been too long to be sure, but I think our stats prof encouraged us to use Bayes factors instead.

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