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View Diary: Statistics 101 Book recommendations (79 comments)

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  •  I agree with most of your post (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AlanF, fbb, JRG, kurt

    but not about Skinner.  Skinner set psychology back a generation. His disdain for statistics was thoroughly misplaced, and behaviorism is about half obvious and half wrong.

    OTOH, you are right that many people misuse statistics, and that you shouldn't substitute reams of output for hours of thought.  The Abelson book makes this point compellingly.

    I will add more references as I think of them

    What are you reading? on Friday mornings
    stats_geeks_of_daily_kos

    by plf515 on Sun Dec 03, 2006 at 08:25:20 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Good comment (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fbb, plf515

      Skinner drew important attention to the idea of reinforcement, but, to the best of my knowledge, his analyses of behavior never incorporated cognition, which leaves out a pretty significant class of variables.

      •  Thanks (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JRG

        I even wrote a poem:

        Skinner took a squirrel
        And put it in a box
        And if it ever misbehaved
        He gave it nasty shocks

        He made it run through mazes
        To get a little food
        And only Skinner was surprised
        When the squirrel came unglued.

        But people aren't squirrels
        No matter how it seems
        And Skinner just could not explain
        Language, jokes, or dreams

        Our minds are simply too complex
        To fit his schema well
        But when that squirrel salivates
        Skinner always rings a bell

        What are you reading? on Friday mornings
        stats_geeks_of_daily_kos

        by plf515 on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 02:48:53 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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