Questions tagged [communication]

Related to communication or explanation of statistical data, analyses, or concepts

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355
votes
11answers
153k views

Explaining to laypeople why bootstrapping works

I recently used bootstrapping to estimate confidence intervals for a project. Someone who doesn't know much about statistics recently asked me to explain why bootstrapping works, i.e., why is it that ...
49
votes
15answers
4k views

Most confusing statistical terms

We statisticians use many words in ways that are slightly different from the way everyone else uses them. This cause lots of problems when we teach or explain what we are doing. I'll start a list (...
41
votes
3answers
31k views

How to present results of a Lasso using glmnet?

I would like to find predictors for a continuous dependent variable out of a set of 30 independent variables. I am using Lasso regression as implemented in the glmnet package in R. Here is some dummy ...
40
votes
11answers
6k views

Are there any good popular science book about statistics or machine learning?

There a bunch of really good popular science books around, that deal with real science, as well as the history and reasons behind current theories, while remaining extremely enjoyable to read. For ...
38
votes
2answers
1k views

Evidence for man-made global warming hits 'gold standard': how did they do this?

This message in a Reuter's article from 25.02.2019 is currently all over the news: Evidence for man-made global warming hits 'gold standard' [Scientists] said confidence that human activities ...
36
votes
10answers
7k views

What is your favorite layman's explanation for a difficult statistical concept?

I really enjoy hearing simple explanations to complex problems. What is your favorite analogy or anecdote that explains a difficult statistical concept? My favorite is Murray's explanation of ...
28
votes
1answer
657 views

Beautifully written papers

From David Salsburg's book The lady tasting tea: Although the reader may not believe it, literary style plays an important role in mathematical research. Some mathematical writers seem unable to ...
23
votes
3answers
28k views

How to describe or visualize a multiple linear regression model

I'm trying to fit a multiple linear regression model to my data with couple of input parameters, say 3. \begin{align} F(x) &= Ax_1 + Bx_2 + Cx_3 + d \tag{i} \\ &\text{or} \\ F(x) &= (A\...
18
votes
4answers
11k views

How to best visualize differences in many proportions across three groups?

I'm trying to visually compare how three different news publications cover different topics (determined through an LDA topic model). I have two related methods for doing so, but have received lots of ...
17
votes
3answers
23k views

How would you explain generalized linear models to people with no statistical background?

I always have a hard time explaining statistical techniques to audience with no statistical background. If I wanted to explain what GLM is to such audience (without throwing out statistical jargon), ...
16
votes
3answers
9k views

Differences between logistic regression and perceptrons

As I understand, a perceptron/single-layer artificial neural network with a logistic sigmoid activation function is the same model as logistic regression. Both models are given by the equation: $F(x) ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

Is there a colloquial way of saying “small but significant”?

I sometimes speak about statistical results to a popular audience, and the term "significant" can (understandably) be misunderstood. I sometimes want to say something like "the ...
13
votes
5answers
389 views

Cognitive processing/interpretation of data visualizations techniques

Does anyone know of research which investigates the effectiveness (understandability?) of different visualization techniques? For example, how quickly do people understand one form of visualization ...
13
votes
3answers
18k views

Number of significant digits to report

Is there a more scientific way of determining the number of significant digits to report for a mean or a confidence interval in a situation which is fairly standard - e.g. first year class at college. ...
12
votes
3answers
523 views

How best to communicate uncertainty?

A massive problem in communicating the results of statistical calculations to the media and to the public is how we communicate uncertainty. Certainly most mass media seems to like a hard and fast ...
11
votes
7answers
21k views

How would you explain statistical significance to people with no statistical background?

Background: I had to perform a data analysis for a client (some kind of lawyer) who was an absolute beginner in statistics. He asked me what the term "statistical significance" means and I really ...
10
votes
4answers
3k views

How does one explain what an unbiased estimator is to a layperson?

Suppose $\hat{\theta}$ is an unbiased estimator for $\theta$. Then of course, $\mathbb{E}[\hat{\theta} \mid \theta] = \theta$. How does one explain this to a layperson? In the past, what I have said ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

Good examples of statistics sections in applied academic journal articles

I am a biostatistician working in an applied field and I am responsible for writing the statistics methods section for the papers I collaborate on. In reading a lot of academic papers I've come ...
9
votes
5answers
386 views

Representing experimental data

I have an argument with my advisor over data visualization. He claims that when representing experimental results, the values should be plotted with "markers" only, as presented in the image bellow. ...
9
votes
1answer
15k views

How do support vector machines avoid overfitting?

I understand that in the dual form of the model for support vector machines, the feature vectors are expressed only as a dot product. Mapping the feature vectors to a higher dimensional space can ...
9
votes
2answers
265 views

How could I visualise the importance of different inputs to the forecast for a black-box non-linear model?

I am building an interactive forecast tool (in python) as an aid to forecasting that is done in my organisation. To date the forecast process has been largely human driven, with forecasters ...
6
votes
2answers
478 views

Risk assesment and non-statistician's perception of percentages

I'm planning on doing quantile regression for estimating pain relief after hip surgery. My aim is to construct for my patients information in this format: 4 out of 5 patients experience with your ...
6
votes
0answers
78 views

How to justify a “complicated” regression model over a simpler model to a non-technical audience?

I find myself in the position of advocating for a linear mixed-effects model to estimate a trend to a non-technical audience. The subject of the regression model is a somewhat contentious topic and my ...
5
votes
1answer
334 views

How to help people understand “…per 100,000”?

It's well known that members of the public have difficulty comprehending numbers over a certain size. A common tricky issue for people communicating demographic trends is helping people make sense of ...
4
votes
3answers
500 views

Politically correct way of ordering stacked barplots?

What is the politically correct way of ordering stacked barplots that contain gender statistics? For example, in a stacked barplot for the number of grantees of a fellowship program, should one put ...
4
votes
4answers
10k views

Is it “rows by columns” or “columns by rows”?

I've got a data table like: ID Low Color Med Color High Color 1 234 123 324 2 4 432 3423 The ...
4
votes
2answers
222 views

What is the name for the test whose results are printed by summary.lm (in R)?

I understand that the output of, for example, summary(lm(Fertility ~ . , data = swiss)) is a table of $\hat\beta$s, standard errors, t-statistics, and p-values for ...
4
votes
1answer
203 views

Standards on presenting graphs and charts in vector format?

In his up-voted answer to Software needed to scrape data from graph, Alexey writes (with respect to the need for data scraping off of raster graphs) "But nowadays the good practice is to publish ...
4
votes
2answers
674 views

How would you explain logit coefficients to someone with no statistical background

Similar question here. The question I highlighted above provides an overview of how generalized linear models work. However, I find people often want more and ask about how the coefficients were ...
4
votes
1answer
269 views

Find the input/output probability distributions that realize the capacity of communications channel?

Consider two random variables $X,Y$. For simplicity, they are discrete and finite. Let $Q(y|x)$ be the conditional probability of $Y$ given $X$. Their mutual information is defined as: $$I=H(Y)-H(Y|X)...
3
votes
5answers
394 views

What is a good tool and format for representing and communicating the design content of a survey?

Are there any decent tools for writing/designing questionnaires before providing to programmers? Currently Microsoft Word is being used and tracking changes and keeping it standardized has become a ...
3
votes
2answers
94 views

Changing the size of a confidence interval in order to emphasize results

I've been asked to perform a statistical analysis at my work and report on the results. I'm using a 2-sided t-test comparing 2 groups where H0=0 and Ha≠0 at a significance level of .05. For my results ...
3
votes
1answer
5k views

Average partial effects

I need to explain what average partial effects (APEs) are to a very general non-statistical audience (i.e. the APEs derived from a probit model). I have tried to define APEs using layman's terms but I ...
3
votes
1answer
87 views

How do you organize your output for a project?

When you are performing your analyses, how do you keep your results organized? Do you keep a parallel word document and copy/paste the result as you build your 'story'? Was curious to see how other ...
3
votes
1answer
176 views

Is the margin of error for a survey a “fake” statistic?

When I conduct a survey for a client, they are often very concerned about the margin of error for the survey, and that’s totally reasonable. Oftentimes however, when they say, “We want a margin of ...
3
votes
1answer
234 views

How to communicate regression model performance to non-stats people?

In R I created a gradient boosted random forest from 100,000 records with 10 cross validation folds using the gbm library. I want to communicate the strength and ...
3
votes
0answers
64 views

What significant problems/solutions have you experienced working with software engineers?

This question is probably at least applicable for those of you that work in a commercial setting. I am working in a rather general way on process improvements with regards to communicating (or not ...
2
votes
3answers
268 views

How to communicate “very negative” parameter estimate in paper?

I'm currently writing a thesis and I have to interpret a coefficient estimate that's extremely negative compared to what I hypothesized. How do I best communicate this? Describing it as ...
2
votes
1answer
127 views

Best way to visualise / respresent complex relationships / hierarchies

I'm trying to visualise relations, i.e. of which "parts" (e.g. products, technologies etc.) a website is built upon. I was thinking of a chord diagram (maybe built with d3.js so the viewer can hover ...
2
votes
1answer
51 views

Visual Aids for Explaining Statistical Significance to a Jury?

This question How would you explain statistical significance to people with no statistical background? provides some good ideas for explaining statistical significance to a lay audience in a limited ...
2
votes
0answers
38 views

How to best communicate model improvements to non-technical stakeholders?

Working on a project to improve a model, and I want to be able to communicate to non-technical people how much the model has improved with recent work. Here are example numbers showing the improvement:...
2
votes
1answer
165 views

Log likelihhood ratio with soft information

The log likelihood ratio of two binary random variables $x$ and $y$ (only taking values $0$ or $1$) can be defined as $LLR_x=\frac{P(x=0|y)}{P(x=1|y)}$ The above definition is OK if $y=0$ or $1$. ...
2
votes
1answer
196 views

Knowing when bootstrap calculations are invalid

I read these posts and their references: Recommended reading for understanding when the bootstrap will fail? Multiple samples vs. bootstrapping but I am failing to understand. Consider the following ...
1
vote
1answer
176 views

Can a random forest model be extracted for practical use?

I'm new to random forest models and have questions. When I develop a linear model, I can tell people "Hey kids- here's how to predict the circumference of a circle if you know the radius. Just plug ...
1
vote
1answer
218 views

Irreducible (communicating) classes [closed]

The Markov chain $(Xn; n\geq)$ has state-space $S = (0, 1, 2, . . .)$, with $p_{i,0} = \frac{1}{4}$ and $p_{i,i+1} = \frac{3}{4}$ $\forall i \geq 0$, so that the transition matrix is P =$\...
1
vote
0answers
146 views

Discussing R-squared of log-log model with a non-technical audience

I have been asked to report on the relationship between two right-skew financial variables using R-squared e.g. "market cap explain ?% of the variance in CEO compensation". The purpose of the ...
1
vote
0answers
48 views

Normalization and averaging the log likelihoods of a list decoder

I have a list decoder, that decodes the codeword and returns the lists of likelihood for codewords. I want to take the average of the codewords in the lists. Let's say the list size is 4, and i get ...
1
vote
0answers
65 views

What is the purpose of specifying a “control” in an A/B/N split test?

I define control as the currently accepted, best known variation. The test to be performed would introduce n new variations. Each variation will be served randomly for the duration of the test. I am ...
1
vote
0answers
64 views

Risk communication and in epidemiology

I have looked at the risk of hospital admission in the general population and in those with lung disease when exposed to an environmental toxin. The patients with lung disease are also part of the ...
1
vote
0answers
476 views

Excel: Data analysis for university rankings

I have some university rankings data where I am asked to analyze whether a higher %of one variable leads to a higher ranking in a particular area. What kind of statistical analysis should I use in ...