The Crusade Against Multiple Regression Analysis
A Conversation With Richard Nisbett
January 21, 2016
A huge range of science projects are done with multiple regression analysis. The results are often somewhere between meaningless and quite damaging, according to Richard Nisbett. In this wide-ranging conversation he explains why the correlational (observational) evidence so often deviates from the experimental evidence.
Later in the interview he takes on the inability to replicate a lot of social psychology ‘cueing’ experiments. That many are irreplicable doesn’t bother him. He says “We may sometimes describe a particular experiment as an example of some point, and that particular experiment might not replicate, but the theory that the experiment exemplifies has been established in any number of different experimental contexts.” The entire conversation is peppered with descriptions of intriguing exemplar experiments. My favorite – put dots on the coffee urn in a pattern that looks like human eyes and people will contribute more money to the coffee expense jar. Really? (Michalko)