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Amateur Statisticians

December 2, 2010

Here’s a fun game for all you social scientists: what is wrong about Adam Serwer’s post on The GOP’s Amateur Statisticians?

Hint: If you take the time to read this groundbreaking article on Trends in Surveys on Surveys in Public Opinion Quarterly, you can find out what percentage of Americans make a variant of the mistake that Adam just made. The answer: about 86%.

Anyway, I left a hastily-composed comment on his blog in case you are really dying to know his very common mistake.

UPDATE: Adam has updated his post, which proves that he is a class-act. Disappointingly few people respond when I leave methodological reamarks in the comments, including (ahem) certain popular sociology blogs.

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