Thursday, March 27, 2014

Mother Jones Saw My Method?


MotherJones magazine produced graphs published by Mitchel Hernlan similar to the ones I produced in my last posts.  The graph above has individual ratings of their health (from the national BRFSS survey) on the y axis and a measure of liberalism for each state on the left.  It seems to show that the more liberal states have better perceptions of their own health.  The results seem to be consistent with other measures of health such as life expectancy which was presented in the graph below from my last post.

As readers of this blog may notice, one glaring omission from the graph at the top is the District of Columbia.  (Another omission is a best fit regression line to show the trend.) This District is not technically a state but it does have three electoral votes for Presidential Elections which it has had since 1964.  It would score high on the measure of liberalism as it has never given it's electoral votes to a Republican while having poor health outcomes as described in the previous post.  While scoring high on liberalism is also has a high concentration of hate groups which are followed by the Southern Poverty Law Center.  

I did send my posts on hate groups to Mother Jones magazine, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and other publications.  I like to think that the similarities between the two graphs shown here suggest that it had an influence on their writing.  The fact that their article does not include DC suggest that they were not influential in the field of Political Epidemiology. There is still a need to be cautious about inferring a cause and effect relationship from correlational data and it takes time to sort the potential confounding variables out.  Some disseminating authors to the masses may not believe that they are prepared to deal with anomalies.


**Update**

One Statistician that the mainstream listens to is Nate Silver who is now feuding with Nobel Prize winning Economist Paul Krugman.  Below is a two part interview Silver gave on The Daily Show last night.  His new fivethirtyeight.com sounds like this site.  Maybe I should send my posts to him.  I have 3.5 years post for him on which to draw.




**Related Posts**

A Video By Dancing Statistics and an Announcement on Bloglovin

 

A Statistical Profile of the Uninsured in Washington, DC, New Mexico, and Texas

 

The Audacious Epigone

 

How do the States Stack Up on Infant Mortality? (Cross Post with PUSH)