Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Quote of the Day

. Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Something to think about as you build your equations for statistical analysis:

"If you control for lung cancer, smoking doesn't kill you."

Via Layna Mosley who credits it to a discussant on one of her ISA panels.


Kindred Winecoff said...


Although, I'm not sure how that really works. Was the person saying that multicollinearity would make smoking insignificant if both variables are on the right-hand side? Not necessarily, b/c smoking causes emphysema and heart disease as well. In fact, the dangers of smoking are mostly *not* lung cancer, so controlling for it might be perfectly appropriate.

Sarah Bauerle said...

The quote might not be entirely accurate, but the idea behind it is important: sometimes controls can obscure rather than enlighten.

Quote of the Day
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