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st: Fwd: false positives

From   Kit Baum <[email protected]>
To   [email protected]
Subject   st: Fwd: false positives
Date   Sun, 20 Sep 2009 08:23:47 -0400

Begin forwarded message:

From: Arthur Lewbel <[email protected]>
Date: September 19, 2009 9:57:57 AM EDT
To: [email protected]
Subject: false positives


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:

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 Lewbel   [email protected]
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   |
An Introduction to Stata Programming |
   An Introduction to Modern Econometrics Using Stata  |

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