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.

2 comments:

Kindred Winecoff said...

Sweet!

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.

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