The Best MTX Songs According to Facebook

About a year ago, Dr. Frank asked about the best MTX songs. He never got around to post the final results, so I compiled the frequencies for your entertainment. There were 145 songs mentioned in 211 comments. Despite this diversity, there is a clear winner:

                                   Song | Frequency 
----------------------------------------+-------------
                        more than toast |         33  
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                    sackcloth and ashes |         20  
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           even hitler had a girlfriend |         17  
 the history of the concept of the soul |         17  
----------------------------------------+-------------
                         ba ba ba ba ba |         15  
                         here she comes |         15  
                     tapin' up my heart |         15  
----------------------------------------+-------------
                       dumb little band |         14  
                               velveeta |         14  
----------------------------------------+-------------
                         i fell for you |         13  
     i wrote a book about rock and roll |         13  
                              king dork |         13  
              she's no rocket scientist |         13  
----------------------------------------+-------------
              ...and i will be with you |         12  
                         deep deep down |         12  
                      fucked up on life |         12  
            last time i listened to you |         12  
                         my stupid life |         12  
                         new girlfriend |         12  
                     swallow everything |         12  
  thank you (for not being one of them) |         12  
                            you you you |         12  
----------------------------------------+-------------
                       at gilman street |         11  
                           love is dead |         11  
                                semi-ok |         11  
                     she's not a flower |         11  
----------------------------------------+-------------
                     book of revelation |         10  
          with my looks and your brains |         10  
----------------------------------------+-------------
            alternative is here to stay |          9  
                           hell of dumb |          9  
i love you, but you're standing on my f |          9  
                              you today |          9  
----------------------------------------+-------------
                       i believe in you |          8  
                      she's my alcatraz |          8  
----------------------------------------+-------------
  a song about a girl who went shopping |          7  
                        checkers speech |          7  
                        danny partridge |          7  
            i just wanna do it with you |          7  
         i'm like yeah but she's all no |          7  
             institutionalized misogyny |          7  
        itching powder in sleeping bags |          7  
                  now that you are gone |          7  
                  swiss army girlfriend |          7  
                       together tonight |          7  
will you still love me when i don't lov |          7  
----------------------------------------+-------------
                   i don't need you now |          6  
                                  naomi |          6  
                            psycho girl |          6  
                     that prozac moment |          6  
                        two-minute itch |          6  
                    you're the only one |          6  
                              game over |          5  
                    how'd the date end? |          5  
                            mr. ramones |          5  
            she's coming (over tonight) |          5  
                        so long, sucker |          5  
the weather is here, wish you were beau |          5  
           tomorrow is a harsh mistress |          5  
                            up and down |          5  
----------------------------------------+-------------
                     dustbin of history |          4  
                      god bless america |          4  
                      hangin' on to you |          4  
                   hello kitty menendez |          4  
                i'd do anything for you |          4  
                    love american style |          4  
          oh just have some faith in me |          4  
                           sex offender |          4  
                some foggy mountain top |          4  
                            spy vs. spy |          4  
                              two of us |          4  
            we hate all the same things |          4  
                       we're not no one |          4  
                    who needs happiness |          4  
----------------------------------------+-------------
                        dictionary girl |          3  
                          disconnection |          3  
          everybody knows you're crying |          3  
           god bless lawrence livermore |          3  
                              hey emily |          3  
                         i feel for you |          3  
                                   jill |          3  
                      lawnmower of love |          3  
                                 london |          3  
                         love manifesto |          3  
                             not guilty |          3  
                            on the team |          3  
    our love will last forever and ever |          3  
                                shining |          3  
                     somebody who cares |          3  
sorry for freaking out on the phone las |          3  
             take all the time you need |          3  
                 the end of the ramones |          3  
    the future ain't what it used to be |          3  
        there's something wrong with me |          3  
                                   zero |          3  
----------------------------------------+-------------
                        all my promises |          2  
                      another yesterday |          2  
           big strange beautiful hammer |          2  
    i don't know where dan treacy lives |          2  
         i made you and i can break you |          2  
 leave the thinking to the smart people |          2  
                       marine recruiter |          2  
                          now we are 21 |          2  
                            one big lie |          2  
                              pig latin |          2  
                              self-pity |          2  
                        somebody's song |          2  
       the girl who still lives at home |          2  
   we are the future people of tomorrow |          2  
                           we'll get by |          2  
                            wearing out |          2  
                          what is punk? |          2  
                        when i lost you |          2  
                              you alone |          2  
----------------------------------------+-------------
             a mind is a terrible thing |          1  
                   a weekend in hogboro |          1  
                        a zillion years |          1  
   are you there god? it's me, margaret |          1  
as life goes on, you get more and more  |          1  
               bitter homes and gardens |          1  
                           boredom zone |          1  
                   bridge to tarabithia |          1  
                      christine bactine |          1  
                                  crash |          1  
                                go away |          1  
          i'm in love with paula pierce |          1  
                            knock knock |          1  
                                 makeup |          1  
                                 martyr |          1  
                master of the situation |          1  
                                perhaps |          1  
                         population: us |          1  
                  reactivate your heart |          1  
                           ready set go |          1  
                     send me a postcard |          1  
                                  sheep |          1  
                                slagbag |          1  
          stephanies of the world unite |          1  
                             supersonic |          1  
                   the empty experience |          1  
                          told you once |          1  
                  two martinis from now |          1  
                 unpack your adjectives |          1  
                         viva la france |          1  
                     weekend at hogboro |          1  
                        what went wrong |          1  
----------------------------------------+-------------

And here’s some album statistics:

                                  Album |  Freqency
----------------------------------------+------------
                           Love Is Dead |        136 
       Revenge is Sweet, and So Are You |        110 
                  Our Bodies Our Selves |        101 
    ...And the Women Who Love Them (EP) |         55 
                        Yesterday Rules |         54 
                               Alcatraz |         52 
      Night Shift at the Thrill Factory |         48 
                     Milk Milk Lemonade |         45 
               Making Things with Light |         35 
   Big Black Bugs Bleed Blue Blood (EP) |         33 
Everybody's Entitled to Their Own Opini |         17 
              The Miracle of Shame (EP) |         14 
   Show Business Is My Life (Dr. Frank) |          6 
----------------------------------------+------------

Replicate My Work!

Scientific work requires transparency. There is no mad genius in his/her lonely tower working for years on end on some great invention. While it may be true that professors have little time for anything but their research, they communicate their findings (along with their methods). Science is a social enterprise. Primed by Gary King‘s essay “Replication, Replication” (1995) and lectures by Rainer Schnell, I arrived at the conclusion that a scientific workflow must be a reproducible workflow. I do think that making replication material broadly available is a good thing for everyone involved.

Replication materials for my recent publications can now be found online. Maintaining a reproducible workflow is hard work but rewarding. Looking back, I could have improved a lot of things (without changing the results, mind you). It felt a bit awkward at first. Soon enough it felt even more awkward to have waited so long to put up the material. I wish I could share more of my older publications (and also raw data) but privacy laws, work contracts, and fellow psychologists who are highly skeptical of these ideas keep me from doing so.

Hopefully, the present material is just the beginning. Sadly, most psychologists do not share their materials publicly so I had to figure out most stuff on my own. I decided against third-party repositories because some focus solely on data sets whereas others are somewhat difficult to handle. So I wrote the HTML by hand hoping that a plain format allows for longevity. Let me know if you have any suggestions for improvements.

Measuring the Popularity of Novels?

Apparently, the amount of ratings on GoodReads.com is highly correlated with the ratings, at least for John Green’s four novels (r = .96). But is it really ‘the more, the merrier’? I picked four more authors (in a non-random fashion), had a look at the respective correlations for their novels, and made a couple of graphs to illustrate the results.

Scatter plot of amount of ratings and ratings

Novels by John Green, Maureen Johnson, J.K. Rowling, and Stephanie Meyer

The relationship is a negative one for Stephanie Meyer’s books. Two books of J.K. Rowling are outliers – her first one in terms of ratings on GoodReads, her most recent one in terms of rating. I therefore took the liberty to plot a quadratic fit (instead of a linear fit). It appears that John Green might be an exception (like the Mongols?) Also, Amazon.com ratings tend to be higher; and again, there is no clear relationship between the amount of reviews and the average rating.

And since I recently finished reading “On Chesil Beach”, here’s the data for Ian McEwan’s novels, along with a more appropriately scaled plot for Maureen Johnson’s books:

Scatter plot of amount of ratings and ratings

Novels by Maureen Johnson and Ian McEwan

By the way, the correlation between Amazon.com ratings and GoodReads.com ratings for the 40 books I used above is r = .89. The correlation between number of Amazon.com reviews and Goodreads.com ratings is r = .75.

PS: If anyone is interested in the Stata code for the graphs, let me know. I guess, I’ll add it here this weekend, anyway, but right now I should go to bed.

Null Hypothesis Significance Testing: The Fault in Our Stars

fishingboatproceeds

[...] The same is true on amazon, where the book’s average rating has actually gone up a bit in the past six months (although not in a statistically significant way). [...]

Actually, the ratings have decreased in a statistically significant way (alpha < .05). I used the two most recently archived pages from archive.org, which do not cover exactly 6 months. Still, ratings before 2013-02-03 were higher than those after that date.

  • Before (2110 ratings): mean = 4.76 (SD = 0.014)
  • After (1232 ratings): mean = 4.67 (SD = 0.021)

A t-test (two-sided, unequal variances) yields p = 0.0009 (d = -0.12); and for the non-parametric fans, the Wilcoxon rank-sum (Mann-Whitney) test yields p = 0.0001.

Using 2012-10-19 as dividing date, yields similar results:

  • Before (1051 ratings): mean = 4.77 (SD = 0.020)
  • After (2291 ratings): mean = 4.71 (SD = 0.015)

A t-test (two-sided, unequal variances) yields p = 0.0188 (d = -0.09); the Wilcoxon rank-sum test yields p = 0.0008. Of course, significance testing might be a questionable procedure in this case – and also in general.

This is actually a census of all Amazon ratings, so there’s no need to test whether ratings differ. The sample is the population. However, the written reviews could be regarded as a subsample of the ratings of all readers.

Is it a random sample? I don’t think so. So can we draw proper conclusions from the significance test results? Nah. I won’t provide a comprehensive discussion of the benefits and problems associated with the null hypothesis significance testing (NHST). I’ll just name one of my favourite objections, which Cohen (1990, p. 1308) phrased nicely: “The null hypothesis, taken literally (and that’s the only way you can take it in formal hypothesis testing), is always false in the real world.” In the present, the null hypothesis would mean, that average rating of newer readers is exactly the same as the average rating of those who pre-ordered the book etc.

Anyway, the effect size suggests that the drop in ratings is very small, so it should be safe to argue that the book keeps appealing to new readers.

PS: Sorry for nitpicking; this should in no way diminish the article, which I think is highly insightful.

PPS: I spend a good 15 minutes in R trying to beat the data into shape, but I feel much more comfortable in Stata, so I switched and had the analysis in a few minutes. Here’s the do-file in case anyone in curious. (Haha, as if!)

Continue reading ‘Null Hypothesis Significance Testing: The Fault in Our Stars’ »

Thoughts on “The Bestseller Job”

Today’s mail contained a copy of “The Bestseller Job” (by Greg Cox), a novel based on the televion series “Leverage“. I really like “Leverage” and I was sad to learn that its 5th season was going to be the last one. I’m not usually into novels that expand existing series, but on a whim I bought this one. I’m 76 pages in right now. (The book has 291 pages.) It is certainly too early for a final verdict. I just thought I’d put down my first impression, which, by the way, is positive. The writing style matches the editing of the television series; the plot fits the Leverage universe perfectly, and I’m thrilled that 3/4 of the story are still ahead of me. I like it when the summary on the back doesn’t spoil the whole first half of a book, so I was pleasantly surprised how fast “The Bestseller Job” took off. I was even more enthralled to find the crew en route to Germany. Heck, we learn that Parker once had an alias from Stuttgart. And it’s not just these nods to the country I live in, it’s the acurate transition from one medium to another that makes me really happy. Okay, back to reading!

I Like “Cloud Atlas” (the movie)

Last night I finally saw Cloud Atlas in the cinema. It was a marvelous journey through various stories and times. I think the film makers did an incredible job interweaving the plots and characters.

I loved the novel, so I was a bit skeptical about condensing it all into a single movie. Needless to say, it’s not a verbatim adaptation of the original text. On the contrary, Tykwer and the Wachowskis took audacious liberties, changed most of the endings and left out huge portions. And I’m perfectly happy with that, because they turned the stories into something slightly different, something that fits the big screen wonderfully. My eyes were glued to the screen throughout the movie. There were many innovative ideas that fit the format perfectly. I even enjoyed the way the music was handled, something I hadn’t expected.

Two thumbs up!

Chris de Burgh live in Trier (2013-04-05)

The concert was the first of the current tour, so the setlist was a complete surprise to everybody. Once again, Chris de Burgh had compiled a nice mix of old and new tracks. I really like how he brings back different older songs every tour. He also presented a new song, The Fields of Agincourt. It was in the vein of his battle songs with various moods that culminated in a forte ending. The audience was attentive and rather relaxed, especially towards the end. I especially enjoyed the Moonfleet songs and The Ballroom of Romance. The cover songs worked surprisingly well and brightened the atmosphere even further. Brother John felt a bit out of place; and The Mirror of the Soul and Bal Masqué had already been played four years ago at the same place. Anyway, it was a pleasant concert with a solid band performance and De Burgh’s impressive voice.

  1. Waiting for the Hurricane
  2. The Spirit of Man
  3. Up Here in Heaven
  4. Missing You
  5. The Traveller
  6. Ship to Shore
  7. The Mirror of the Soul
  8. The Same Sun
  9. The Escape
  10. Greater Love
  11. Already There
  12. The Fields of Agincourt
  13. Tender Hands
  14. Living on the Island
  15. Love and Time
  16. Summer Rain
  17. I’m Not Scared Anymore
  18. Borderline
  19. The Ballroom of Romance
  20. The Lady in Red
  21. Blue Bayou
  22. Let It Be
  23. Lady Madonna
  24. Long Train Running
  25. Africa
  26. Brother John
  27. Bal Masqué
  28. Don’t Pay the Ferryman
  29. High on Emotion
  30. The Snows of New York
  31. The Moonfleet Finale

My Chris de Burgh Dream Setlist

I’m going to see Chris de Burgh live today in Trier. There’s not really a new album to promote, although I suspect that Footsteps 2 will be featured to a certain degree. Anyway, I just jotted down my dream setlist – simply for fun. I tried to make it somewhat realistic, knowing very well that he won’t play most of the songs. I mean, he just has too many great songs in his back catalogue.

  1. The Storyman Theme (Intro)
  2. Don’t Pay the Ferryman
  3. Waiting for the Hurricane
  4. Eastern Wind
  5. Lonely Sky
  6. In a Country Churchyard
  7. We Can Work It Out
  8. People of the World
  9. The Revolution
  10. Light a Fire
  11. Liberty
  12. Borderline
  13. Say Goodbye to It All
  14. Love and Time
  15. There’s a New Star Up in Heaven Tonight
  16. The Lady in Red
  17. Africa
  18. Timing Is Everything
  19. Don’t Look Back
  20. The Storm
  21. Where Peaceful Waters Flow
  22. High on Emotion
  23. Read My Name
  24. Crusader (Encore 1)
  25. Transmission Ends (Encore 2)

Valentinstag

Lektüre 2012

A list of books I finished reading in the last 12 months:

  • Joseph M. Siracusa: Nuclear Weapons – A Very Short Introduction
  • Elisabeth Rank: Und im Zweifel für dich selbst
  • Jennifer E. Smith: Die statistische Wahrscheinlichkeit von Liebe auf den ersten Blick
  • Dan Brown: Das verlorene Symbol
  • Nicholas James: Cancer – A Very Short Introduction
  • Andy McNab: Signal Bravo Two Zero
  • Suzanne Collins: The Hunger Games
  • Suzanne Collins: Catching Fire
  • J. Meade Falkner: Moonfleet
  • J. K. Rowling: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  • Elisabeth Streit: Renates erster Flug
  • Elisabeth Streit: Renate als Luft-Stewardeß
  • J. K. Rowling: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  • Gearóid Ó hAllmhuráin: O’Brien Pocket History of Irish Traditional Music
  • Lloyd Alexander: Der Setzerjunge
  • Justin Cronin: The Passage
  • Kai Bird & Martin J. Sherwin: J. Robert Oppenheimer
  • Kevin Brockmeier: The Short History of the Dead
  • John Green: Das Schicksal ist ein mieser Verräter
  • Ian McEwan: Solar
  • Flavia Company: Die Insel der letzten Wahrheit
  • Susanne Schäpler: Schwarzes Blut
  • Shania Twain: From This Moment on
  • John Green: Paper Towns
  • Frank Portman: King Dork
  • Arthur C. Doyle: A Study in Scarlet
  • Ildiko von Kürthy: Unter dem Herzen
  • Arthur C. Doyle: The Sign of Four
  • Laurie R. King: The Beekeeper’s Apprentice