Joe Wasserman Profile picture
quantitative social scientist @RTI_Intl | data for good | methodologically eclectic | boardgames | he/him
1 Oct 18
Can US presidential election outcomes be plausibly explained by partisan voters becoming more likely to vote after losses and less likely to vote after wins? According to a simple simulation, maybe so!…
Notably, ~all this simulation does~ is increase voter participation in each state after a loss (national or state) and decrease voter participation after a win (national or state). That's it! So partisan voter behavior is strictly reactionary. 2/6
The simulations starts after the 1992 US presidential election and can generate the same outcomes as the next 6 presidential elections (1996–2016). (Admittedly, the parameter space in which this occurs is very narrow.) 3/6
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4 Mar 18
Reading media reporting on "Talent vs Luck: The role of randomness in success and failure" has made me wonder about potentially better ways to report and interpret simulation-based research. It's a nice NetLogo toy model!
To what extent do simulations like this toy model "answer questions" or "show" a phenomenon or causal relationship?
The authors find that their model of agents with normally distributed ability who randomly encounter success-generating (i.e., lucky) and success-inhibiting (i.e., unlucky) events yields an uneven distribution of success among their agents. That's cool!
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