Success theater, leaky tech pipeline, teacher bias, network meta-analysis.

1. Biased instructor response → Students shut out Definitely not awesome. Stanford’s Center for Education Policy Analysis reports Bias in Online Classes: Evidence from a Field Experiment. “We find that instructors are 94% more likely to respond to forum posts by white male students. In contrast, we do not find general evidence of biases in […]

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When nudging fails, defensive baseball stats, and cognitive bias cheat sheet.

1. When nudging fails, what else can be done? Bravo to @CassSunstein, co-author of the popular book Nudge, for a journal abstract that is understandable and clearly identifies recommended actions. This from his upcoming article Nudges that Fail: "Why are some nudges ineffective, or at least less effective than choice architects hope and expect? Focusing primarily […]

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Improving vs. proving, plus bad evidence reporting.

If you view gathering evidence as simply a means of demonstrating outcomes, you’re missing a trick. It’s most valuable when part of a journey of iterative improvement. - Frances Flaxington 1. Immigrants to US don't disrupt employment. There is little evidence that immigration significantly affects overall employment of native-born US workers. This according to an expert panel's […]

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Social determinants of health, nonfinancial performance metrics, and satisficers.

Dear reader: Insights Weekly is starting a new chapter. Our spotlight topics are now accompanied by a ‘newsletter’ version of a PepperSlice, the capsule form of evidence-based analysis we’ve created at PepperSlice.com. Let me know what you think, and thanks for your continued readership. – Tracy Altman, Ugly Research 1. Is social services spending associated […]

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Academic clickbait, FCC doesn’t use economics, and tobacco surcharges don’t work.

1. Academics use crazy tricks for clickbait. Turn to @TheWinnower for an insightful analysis of academic article titles, and how their authors sometimes mimic techniques used for clickbait. Positively framed titles (those stating a specific finding) fare better than vague ones: For example, ‘smoking causes lung cancer’ vs. ‘the relationship between smoking and lung cancer’. […]

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Bitcoin for learning, market share meaninglessness, and fighting poverty with evidence.

1. Bitcoin tech records people’s learning. Ten years from now, what if you could evaluate a job candidate by reviewing their learning ledger, a blockchain-administered record of their learning transactions – from courses they took, books they read, or work projects they completed? And what if you could see their work product (papers etc.) rather […]

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$15 minimum wage, evidence-based HR, and manmade earthquakes.

Photo by Fightfor15.org 1. SPOTLIGHT: Will $15 wages destroy California jobs? California is moving toward a $15/hour minimum wage (slowly, stepping up through 2023). Will employers be forced to eliminate jobs under the added financial pressure? As with all things economic, it depends who you ask. Lots of numbers have been thrown around during the […]

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Rapid is the new black, how to ask for money, and should research articles be free?

1. #rapidisthenewblack The need for speed is paramount, so it's crucial that we test ideas and synthesize evidence quickly without losing necessary rigor. Examples of people working hard to get it right: The Digital Health Breakthrough Network is a very cool idea, supported by an A-list team. They (@AskDHBN) seek New York City-based startups who […]

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