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June 11, 2005

Matthew Yglesias *Is* the Media Lobby

He argues that TV is good--or at least not bad--for you. His chances of persuading me and my wife to let our children watch more TV is about as great as his chances of persuading us to let them play "Grand Theft Auto."

There is one annoying thing about Yglesias's post. I am going to have to go read the study it refers to before I can figure out what the study's claim that "although kids reporting the lowest grades also tend to report the highest levels of media exposure . . . this relationship is not statistically significant" means. "This relationship is not statistically significant" can mean one of two things:

  1. It's not important.
  2. We don't have enough data.

When in the future I am pleased to be among the first to welcome our new statistically-sophisticated overlords, anyone who writes the phrase "not statistically significant" without immediately adding "(it's not important)" or ("we don't have enough data") will be sent to the agonizer.

TPMCafe || Politics, Ideas & Lots Of Caffeine: Kaiser found that 'although kids reporting the lowest grades also tend to report the highest levels of media exposure . . .this relationship is not statistically significant.' This contradicts earlier research, and what's changed is that high-achieving children nowadays consume more media than they used to. It appears that 'as media become more and more integrated into the lives of young people, the differences once located by academic performance are attenuating.'...

Posted by DeLong at June 11, 2005 08:04 AM