Today’s Song of the Day:
Memories – David Guetta
Asian Wells here again, “live” from MPA on Day 2 of this glorious conference. Today we get excited for the new world of Baysian Statistic as well as the symposium on better regulation and self control. So let’s just jump right in with the observations of the day:
Now again, we all know how much I hate waking up early, but I woke up super early today to make sure I got a seat for the Bayesian statistics seminar. I mean, one thing I’ve realized about graduate students is that we’re just all humongous nerds. It’s sad when something like Bayesian Statistics excite me. Here’s a description of Baysian Statistics for all you normal people out there from wikipedia.com:
Bayesian probability is one of the different interpretations of the concept of probability and belongs to the category of evidential probabilities. The Bayesian interpretation of probability can be seen as an extension of logic that enables reasoning with propositions whose truth or falsity is uncertain. To evaluate the probability of a hypothesis, the Bayesian probabilist specifies some prior probability, which is then updated in the light of new, relevant data.
This Bayesian statistics is the cutting edge of nerdom. It’s misunderstood or not understood at all by many of those even within the field. THAT’S HOW FREAKING CUTTING EDGE IT IS. But while attending this talk, I realized how stupid I am compared to many of these people here. I mean even the questions these people ask are in a complete foreign language to me.
On a side note, Bayesian statistics does have some cool names for things like the Metropolis Algorithm, ROPE (Region of Practical Equivalence), and JAGS (the computer software).
The second case of what kind of professor lets them do this, was seen during a poster session that I attended during one of my breaks. The study looked at the amount of negative/racist comments made by either non racist, aversive racist (or closet/secret racists), and blatant racists. Not surprisingly they found that blatant racists make the most negative comments….
But seriously, what type of professor a) lets them do this experiment that contributes NOTHING to society and b) let’s them apply to present a poster on it. And also shame on MPA for even considering let alone accepting this poster. Setting up these undergraduates (i hope they’re undergrads) for ridicule…
One of the more interesting talks I went to was given by James Pennebaker, apparently this guy is a BIG guy. Well known, good stuff, w/e. Anyways, his talk was titled: How Our Words Reveal Who We Are. Sounds super interesting, except that his 60 min talk had 40 minutes of build up where he talked about how he got to his current research, and stuff like that. But when he finally got done, he said some really interesting things. His research had detected patterns in speech and found benefits to discussing your emotions in-depth, especially traumatic events. He found those who wrote about their previous sexual traumas, showed increased health benefits in the future than those who wrote about something boring. His research also found that those who used more positive words, even in a negative context, also showed better health benefits down the line. For instance, those who said “I hate my life right now” showed worse symptoms than those who said, “I really don’t love my life right now”. The use of love kept the focus on that dimension. They also found a lot of tidbits regarding the use of the pronoun “I”. They found that:
- Women were more likely to use “I” than men
- Suicidal people use the word “I” more often, almost owning their misery (uncovered by analyzing poets who committed suicide vs. those who didn’t”
- People when telling the truth say “I” at a higher rate and those who are lying very rarely use the word “I”.
So what I’ve concluded that women are more likely to commit suicide and are less likely to lie
Thoughts Lightening Round:
- Not many today, but according to OSU’s Kentaro Fujita, if you want more self control, focus more on the future goals than the present goals. For instance, if you’re trying to go on a diet but are presented with a delicious brownie, focus more on the goal of weight loss in the future and what you’ll look like when you’re done instead of the present goal of wanting something yummy.
- What is the University of Hong Kong doing at the Midwestern Psychological Association’s conference?
- I think it should be mandatory for lecturers to have learned proper English or learn how to speak with a coherent accent if they apply to give a speech. The Hong Kong guy had the most stereotypical accent this side of China. Things like this perpetuate stereotypes and set us back within society
- I swear older people have no shame. I got crop dusted today by a 40 yr old woman. It was raunchy.
- Quote of the day: Apparently having someone read depressing papers over and over, depresses people —James Pennebaker
And that’s the report from Day 2. There will be no day 3 as this reporter decided to sleep in and eat Taiwanese Breakfast on Saturday instead!
Till next year!
Wells “Made in Taiwan” Ling