Songwriters I have known, er... met. This is me and Cynthia Weil at a book expo a few years back., She told me I have an "interesting brain." #self #songwriters #imkindofabigdeal #minds

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You may have noticed several stories like this one going around the internet, to the effect that the latest research shows that women are happiest when they are childless and unmarried, but that they lie about it if their spouse is in the room when they are asked the question. https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/may/25/women-happier-without-children-or-a-spouse-happiness-expert Quote from the book's author, Paul Dolan, a professor of Behavioral Science at the London School of Economics: “Married people are happier than other population subgroups, but only when their spouse is in the room when they’re asked how happy they are. When the spouse is not present: fucking miserable,” he said. "Fucking miserable" is of, course, a well-known technical term in the behavioral sciences. But it appears that this claim is based on a rather embarrassing misreading of the study cited, the American Time Use Survey, in which "Married Spouse Present" and "Married Spouse Absent" refer to presence or absence from the household, and not to presence or absence from the room in which the question was asked. That is, married women with dependents whose husband has left the household for whatever reason tend to be less happy than those whose spouse has not, which is about what you'd imagine. That survey, which is done over the phone, does not in fact ask whether or not the spouse is "in the room" at the time of the interview. More on that here: https://twitter.com/EconTalker/status/1133608266666315776 It's only of interest to me because it mirrors the Naomi Wolf situation of just last week (which is of interest to me because Dr Wolf and I are linked by a song.) Just as the relevant section of Dr Wolf's book seems to have been based on an embarrassing misreading of a legal term, which evidently meant the opposite of what she'd assumed it did, so too is Dr Dolan's conclusion about the degree to which married women with children are miserable based on a misreading of the terms "absent" and "present." (And as I said before, that degree is: "fucking," which, in the social sciences, is very highly miserable indeed.) How embarrassing, and it seems to me a bit worse for Dolan, the behavioral scientist, who really should know how to read social science survey results. At least Naomi Wolf never claimed to be a lawyer or a legal historian. But it reflects a similar sort of sloppiness in both cases, and it seems like a pre-conceived ideological position went seeking anecdotal illustration rather than an actual analysis of data. #politics #academe #socialscience #bloopers #minds
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More from Dr Frank

62 views ·
You may have noticed several stories like this one going around the internet, to the effect that the latest research shows that women are happiest when they are childless and unmarried, but that they lie about it if their spouse is in the room when they are asked the question. https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/may/25/women-happier-without-children-or-a-spouse-happiness-expert Quote from the book's author, Paul Dolan, a professor of Behavioral Science at the London School of Economics: “Married people are happier than other population subgroups, but only when their spouse is in the room when they’re asked how happy they are. When the spouse is not present: fucking miserable,” he said. "Fucking miserable" is of, course, a well-known technical term in the behavioral sciences. But it appears that this claim is based on a rather embarrassing misreading of the study cited, the American Time Use Survey, in which "Married Spouse Present" and "Married Spouse Absent" refer to presence or absence from the household, and not to presence or absence from the room in which the question was asked. That is, married women with dependents whose husband has left the household for whatever reason tend to be less happy than those whose spouse has not, which is about what you'd imagine. That survey, which is done over the phone, does not in fact ask whether or not the spouse is "in the room" at the time of the interview. More on that here: https://twitter.com/EconTalker/status/1133608266666315776 It's only of interest to me because it mirrors the Naomi Wolf situation of just last week (which is of interest to me because Dr Wolf and I are linked by a song.) Just as the relevant section of Dr Wolf's book seems to have been based on an embarrassing misreading of a legal term, which evidently meant the opposite of what she'd assumed it did, so too is Dr Dolan's conclusion about the degree to which married women with children are miserable based on a misreading of the terms "absent" and "present." (And as I said before, that degree is: "fucking," which, in the social sciences, is very highly miserable indeed.) How embarrassing, and it seems to me a bit worse for Dolan, the behavioral scientist, who really should know how to read social science survey results. At least Naomi Wolf never claimed to be a lawyer or a legal historian. But it reflects a similar sort of sloppiness in both cases, and it seems like a pre-conceived ideological position went seeking anecdotal illustration rather than an actual analysis of data. #politics #academe #socialscience #bloopers #minds
1.11k views ·