Any examples of people analyzing/critiquing scientific studies or papers?

post by warrenjordan · 2021-01-13T18:00:09.407Z · LW · GW · 1 comment

This is a question post.


    Derek M. Jones
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I'm having trouble understanding how people assess scientific papers [LW · GW] as I'm a layman in reading them and statistics overall. 

My general (and probably too simplistic) heuristics are:

"Is the p value significant?"

"Is there a large sample size? Or small?"

"Is the population studied generalizable?" 

When I read the comments in the post I hyperlinked, it doesn't seem to click for me. I need more detailed examples. Perhaps someone taking a deep dive into one specific study and picking it apart, from the introduction to methods to discussion and ending at the conclusion. Mentioning what they did right, what they did wrong, etc. 

Does anyone know of any I could reference? I'm specifically reading positive psychology papers if that helps. 


answer by Unnamed · 2021-01-13T23:46:25.822Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

A couple things that are maybe not exactly what you're looking for but are nearby and probably somewhat useful:

The blog Data Colada (example, example2)

Elizabeth's "epistemic spot check" series (example)

answer by Unnamed · 2021-01-13T23:44:28.501Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Here [LW(p) · GW(p)] is a thing I wrote 10 years ago assessing an N-back study. That's a easy-for-me-to-remember example, where I also remember that the writeup comes pretty close to reflecting how I was thinking through things as I was looking at the paper.

answer by Derek M. Jones · 2021-01-13T18:53:46.713Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

You need to learn what to avoid:


Andrew Gelman's blog has lots of what you are after:

comment by Pattern · 2021-01-17T23:48:03.858Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Somehow it didn't link on your comment.

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comment by johnswentworth · 2021-01-13T18:12:41.468Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Not exactly an answer to your question, but this post [LW · GW] is probably relevant and has several short-but-concrete examples.