Class 6: Finding False Findings


Project 2 is now posted. The team assignments will be sent out by tomorrow.

Office hours schedule:

  • Mondays, 10-11am, 254 Monroe Hall (Denis)
  • Wednesdays, 5-6:30pm, Rice 442 (Jonas)
  • Thursdays, 11am-noon (after class), Rice 507 (Dave)
  • Fridays, 10:30am-noon, Monroe Basement (Joe)


Download (full resolution) PDF


falsefindings.ipynb - Jupyter notebook on false findings

John Ioannidis. Why Most Published Research Findings Are False. PLOS Medicine, August 2005.

Ron Kohavi, Roger Longbotham, Dan Sommerfield, and Randal M. Henne (Microsoft). Controlled experiments on the web: survey and practical guide. Data Mining Knowledge and Discovery, 2009.

Adam D. I. Kramer, Jamie E. Guillory, and Jeffrey T. Hancock. Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks. PNAS, June 2014. Commentary by John Grohol, Emotional Contagion on Facebook? More Like Bad Research Methods.

Hunt Allcott, Luca Braghieri, Sarah Eichmeyer, and Matthew Gentzkow. The Welfare Effects of Social Media, 27 Jan 2019. This study had a smaller N (2,844) (and was approved by the Stanford and NYU IRBs), but measured a much larger effect: “we show that Facebook deactivation (i) reduced online activity, including other social media, while increasing offline activities such as watching TV alone and socializing with family and friends; (ii) reduced both factual news knowledge and political polarization; (iii) increased subjective well-being; and (iv) caused a large persistent reduction in Facebook use after the experiment.”.