Monday, July 4, 2011

Parade of Cuteness

From a noted bastion of conservatism comes a report linking childhood attendance at 4th of July parades with voting Republican. Here is the key finding:
Attending one Fourth of July before age 18 increases the likelihood of identifying as a Republican by at least 2 percent and voting for the Republican candidate by 4 percent. It also increases voter turnout by 0.9 percent and boosts political campaign contributions by 3 percent.
There is also this:
“We were surprised to find that childhood experiences of Fourth July celebrations could have such persistent effects. The evidence suggests that important childhood events can have a permanent impact on political beliefs and behavior and that Fourth of July celebrations in the US affect the nation's political landscape,” concludes Yanagizawa-Drott.
Just to be on the safe side, we decided to take the whole gaggle to the Warrenton, Virginia, annual Children and Pets parade.

This parade starts at 10 a.m. and travels about 5 blocks in about 8 minutes. It ends with Uncle Sam leading the National Anthem and the Pledge. Participants outnumbered spectators by about 50 to 1. The local Cub Scout Pack was the color guard.

Enjoy your Fourth.

Regards — the other cliff


Jack Mitchell said...

Tell the kids, The Founders were "collectivists."

...we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

kad barma said...

Welcome, "other Cliff", to my cynicism about correlation vs. causation.

First of all, among demonstrations of academic incompetence, this study certainly ranks among the top half, as opposed to half of all Harvard graduates, as well as half of those from all the other Ivy's, while we're on the subject. It's amazing, depressing and galling that the people who award other people academic degrees do so on the basis of such.

Second of all, back to the discussion of correlation vs. causation, were we to study other socio-economic factors related to Republicanism, I am confident we would also find a raft of other attributes among parade-goers that are equally meaningless.

Republicans like to go to parades. It's not news. (Democrats do, too, but unfortunately nobody seems to have asked that question). So I'm curious why the authors failed to mention the statistical margin for error while they were going on and on about the 2% difference in parade-going between Republicans and other folks, and the 0.9% difference in parade-going between voters and non-voters. They even include a claim that parade-going as an adult causes political orientation, and not the other way around. (In which case I wonder why they didn't bother to ask questions about switches in party affiliation among those adults which, to my mind, might offer the only glimpse of a causative truth amidst this entire sea of correlation nonsense).

Overall, this is all most stunning in it's stupidity, and it's proclivity to grab headlines.

the other cliff said...

Kad, I share your concerns about causation v. correlation, but, as I said, why take a chance? Besides, it was a fun time. Sadly, I also have to share your concerns about awarding degrees. Don't even get me started on the people they make lawyers.

C R Krieger said...

Kad, coming back to this issue, is this the way you feel about AGW also?


Regards  —  Cliff