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st: Fwd: false positives


From   Kit Baum <baum@bc.edu>
To   statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu
Subject   st: Fwd: false positives
Date   Sun, 20 Sep 2009 08:23:47 -0400


Begin forwarded message:

From: Arthur Lewbel <lewbel@bc.edu>
Date: September 19, 2009 9:57:57 AM EDT
To: ecFaculty@fmwww.bc.edu
Subject: false positives

Faculty,

I just came across a wonderful illustration of the problem that if you estimate too many parameters, some will be significant just by random chance. This is the link to a poster that was presented at the 15th annual conference of the organization of human brain mapping: http://prefrontal.org/files/posters/Bennett-Salmon-2009.pdf

In this study, the authors put a Salmon in an MRI machine. They showed the fish pictures of human faces, and recorded the responses in thousands of tiny areas within its brain. A small number of statistically significance responses (p value less than .001) were found. What's most amazing is that the fish was dead at the time.

Arthur

=================================================+
Arthur Lewbel   lewbel@bc.edu    http://www2.bc.edu/~lewbel/
phone: (617)-552-3678   fax: (617)-552-2308
Dept. of Economics, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467, USA
==================================================



Kit Baum   |   Boston College Economics & DIW Berlin   |   http://ideas.repec.org/e/pba1.html
An Introduction to Stata Programming | http://www.stata-press.com/books/isp.html
   An Introduction to Modern Econometrics Using Stata  |   http://www.stata-press.com/books/imeus.html

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