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A discounting app

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Science is there to answer questions, and it is a powerful tool at that. In this post I outline how I approach the task of coming up with research questions, how to answer them and how to create a publishable manuscript describing this procedure. It is very idiosyncratic, but I hope that it might be useful for some readers, especially students.

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For one of my projects I needed to download text from multiple websites. I did this with rvest and dplyr. While this can be relatively easy if the sources come from the same websites, it can be pretty tedious when the website hosts are various. The reason is how the content is kept in the HTML of the website. Assume that you want to extract the title, author information, publish date, and of course the main article text. You can access that information via CSS or XPath. The following text will walk you through an example and provide the relevant code.

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This post will explain how to integrate RStudio and LaTeX, especially the inclusion of well-formatted tables and nice-looking graphs and figures produced in RStudio and imported to LaTeX. To follow along you will need RStudio, MS Excel and LaTeX.

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It is fairly easy to link Github or Bitbucket with RStudio, in order to enable version control, or to work collectively on a data project, science article, or book, or in order to make your data or project publicly accessible.

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Even though there is some disagreement as to who is responsible for climate change, it is beyond substantial scientific doubt that climate change is a major threat for humanity in the 21st century. However, there still is doubt among the public. Why? There is an intuitively appealing theory why this is the case: Solution aversion. The theory attempts to explain why Republicans are much more likely to deny the reality of man-made climate change, while Democrats tend to accept it as fact. The model proposes that people deny the existence of a problem partly or primarily because they disagree with the solutions that have been proposed to solve the problem. In the case of climate change these proposed solutions would be regulations that disagree with what conservatives favor: market solutions.

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In this post I give a brief instruction on how to calculate the smallest effect size of interest with output from GPower. My instruction is largely based on an excellent blog post from a blog named ‘The 20% Statistician’ by Daniel Lakens. Mr. Lakens is an experimental psychologist at the Human-Technology Interaction group at Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands.

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Mustafa* stands in front of the table, and he is looking at me. I just gave him the┬ácard of the NGO called Projekt Seehilfe e.V. with which I am in Catania, Sicily. Initially, I just gave it to his friend, who was much more talkative and who appeared to be interested. However, because he was standing right next to him, it felt wrong not to give him one as well. Holding the card, he looks like he does not know what to do with it. Timidly, he laughs. It seems that my assessment was correct. He stands in front of me, says thank you and looks me in the eyes. We didn’t even talk during the whole dinner, and I had the impression that he was just about to leave. We start talking.

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While analyzing data from an experiment, I found myself writing things like ‘The treatment changes the outcome variably by…’ or ‘the treatment leads to changes in the outcome variable’. However, I often thought that talking about changes sounded too ‘dynamic’. After all, I was referring to two different groups of subjects (between-subjects design). What I was doing was to statistically compare means of the outcome variable of different groups. I was ok to talk about changes when referring to within-subject differences, i.e. changes in outcomes for the same subject due to an intervention, but for the between-subjects case, shouldn’t I rather talk about differences instead of changes?

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I am a member of an NGO called Projekt Seehilfe e.V. that supports refugees in Sicily with materialistic and idealistic help. Last year, I was one of three people that went to Sicily, together with another NGO from Germany, called Hanseatic Help e.V. In April this year, we will go there and help yet again. In Sicily, I wrote two texts that summarized what I experienced, thought and felt when I was confronted with a type of problem that nowadays plays an important role in Europe. Since the texts are in German, I will translate them into English for this blog. You can find one of the two original articles, the one translated below, here.

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