Author Topic: "Scientific Inquiry" ? No  (Read 17545 times)

Chris

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"Scientific Inquiry" ? No
« on: March 27, 2006, 07:01:46 PM »
Why?

Selection bias.  You chose the quotes.  You chose the paintings.  You chose the sound clips.

Your logical conclusion should have been, "It is possible to find certain famous works to be indistinguishable from certain non famous works."

Instead, you concluded that "Famous works are indistinguishable from non famous works."

You carefully selected everything because you wanted certain results.  That's just plain bad science.


This post is about  Scientific inquiry in modern art. --admin

Mikhail Simkin

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"Scientific Inquiry" ? No
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2006, 08:24:29 PM »
I  selected representative samples of modern art, Mozart, Dickens, and famous musicians.

If you can't tell the difference between the famous and unknown this not because of selection bias, but because there is no such difference.

Have I been also biased in the Stupid or Clever?  quiz?

Chris

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"Scientific Inquiry" ? No
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2006, 11:22:47 PM »
Quote from: "Mikhail Simkin"
I  selected representative samples of modern art, Mozart, Dickens, and famous musicians.


You say the samples are representative.  Can you quantify that in any way?  Saying so doesn't make it so.

Quote
If you can't tell the difference between the famous and unknown this not because of selection bias, but because there is no such difference.


You can't make that conclusion. You can only conclude that the person taking the poll couldn't find a difference between the specific samples they heard.  

The more general conclusion takes two assumptions:  First, that the samples are completely representative (ie, no selection bias), and second, that the person taking the poll would notice the differences (provided they exist).


Quote
Have I been also biased in the Stupid or Clever?  quiz?


Maybe.  I can only say that there are hundreds of grades/scores to choose from, and you chose the ones that you did.  Both people likely had many bad grades as well as good ones.  It's possible to choose the best of one and the worst of the other.  If it's anything like your other quizes, I imagine the selection is biased, but I didn't take the quiz.

You avoided extremely popular works -- rightfully so.  People would recognize them and bias their own answers.  But in avoiding the extremely popular works you chose works less famous, and perhaps less famous with reason.

Mikhail Simkin

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"Scientific Inquiry" ? No
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2006, 06:20:01 PM »
Quote from: "Chris"
You say the samples are representative.  Can you quantify that in any way?  Saying so doesn't make it so.

I was not looking for the worst works of the famous and the best works of the unknown, but selected representative samples. You decided that they are not representative based solely on the results of the tests. You did not provide any evidence that the selection was biased.  

Quote from: "Chris"
Quote
Have I been also biased in the Stupid or Clever?  quiz?
Maybe.  I can only say that there are hundreds of grades/scores to choose from, and you chose the ones that you did.  Both people likely had many bad grades as well as good ones.  It's possible to choose the best of one and the worst of the other.  If it's anything like your other quizes, I imagine the selection is biased, but I didn't take the quiz.

I selected representative grades received by Bush and Kerry. Check it for yourself. This would be more useful then making unfounded accusations. BTW, one Yale   professor was surprised when they reminded him which grades he gave Kerry. Newsmedia made him believe believe that Kerry is a genius.

Quote from: "Chris"
You avoided extremely popular works -- rightfully so.  People would recognize them and bias their own answers.  But in avoiding the extremely popular works you chose works less famous, and perhaps less famous with reason.

Don Giovani, Le nozze di Figaro, A portrait of the artist as a young man not extremely popular? Even less famous works by the famous authors used in the quiz are by several orders of magnitude more famous han the works of the unknown.

brianvds

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Re: "Scientific Inquiry" ? No
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2011, 06:59:04 AM »
I was not looking for the worst works of the famous and the best works of the unknown, but selected representative samples. You decided that they are not representative based solely on the results of the tests. You did not provide any evidence that the selection was biased.

It is not clear to me how you defined "representative," so I think Chris's criticisms are not without value. In fairness, with Mozart vs Salieri you have a difficult problem in that many of Mozart's famous works are recognizable to almost everyone, so you are constrained there about which pieces you can choose, whereas with Salieri you can pick almost anything.

It is not clear to me what conclusions we can draw from this quiz, if any. For one thing, to people not familiar with the classical idiom, even Mozart and Bach or Rachmaninoff would all sound the same; this doesn't mean there is no difference (just as I cannot distinguish between famous rap stars and non-famous ones: the idiom is not familiar enough to me and it all sounds the same, but that doesn't mean there really is no difference.)

Furthermore, assuming that the best music is also the most popular and well known, it means that you couldn't choose the best of Mozart (because then everyone would recognize it) so you HAD to pick less popular, and therefore less good, pieces by Mozart. "Don Giovanni" might be a popular opera on the whole; it doesn't mean every aria in it is popular. Thus one possible conclusion is that Mozart had the ability to write masterpieces (of which he wrote surprisingly few, namely the few pieces that everyone is familiar with) whereas Salieri did not, but most of the music of both two composers is not very memorable, and most people cannot distinguish between mediocre pieces by Salieri and mediocre ones by Mozart.

Another possibility is this: Salieri was not the mediocrity he is often made out to be. And if this was your point, it is a good one. Salieri as synonym for mediocrity is a notion that was almost in its entirety manufactured by the film "Amadeus." He was very highly regarded by his contemporaries, including Mozart.
Brian
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Mikhail Simkin

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Re: "Scientific Inquiry" ? No
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2011, 12:40:25 PM »
"Don Giovanni" might be a popular opera on the whole; it doesn't mean every aria in it is popular.
I used one of the most popular arias from the opera. Arias  used in the quiz were taken from the CD "Mozart arias" which featured Mozart's best music.

brianvds

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Re: "Scientific Inquiry" ? No
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2011, 10:37:53 PM »
"Don Giovanni" might be a popular opera on the whole; it doesn't mean every aria in it is popular.
I used one of the most popular arias from the opera. Arias  used in the quiz were taken from the CD "Mozart arias" which featured Mozart's best music.

In which case, it is perhaps somewhat surprising that people didn't recognize them. Perhaps most of the quiz takers are just not very familiar with Mozart. I am fairly familiar with his better known instrumental music, but not his operas (I dislike opera). But I haven't taken the quiz myself: I have a cap on my internet data transfer, so I can't listen to all that much music online. Wouldn't surprise me in the least if I couldn't tell much of Mozart and Salieri apart, though. Salieri was not a lightweight composer. And of course, the Classical (with a capital C) style did to some extent produce somewhat generic music; it was the taste of the day. Similarly, if you had a quiz featuring fugues by Bach and by some of his contemporaries, people might not easily tell them apart either.

When I watched the film Amadeus, one of the things that struck me that of all the many inserts of opera, the one I actually liked the most was the bit by Salieri! That was of course not at all all the intention of the film makers.  ;-)

Anyway, I think this issue of taste in the arts is a complex one. I'm not sure the quizzes test everything one needs to test. Here's something that just occurred to me. I know from personal experience that I can seldom decide at a glance what kind of art/music/literature/films I like. I might watch a film, think it is absolutely superb, and then upon seeing it again it fails to move me. Or I might not think much of it initially, only to find that it sort of lingers with me and eventually grows on me. It happens with music as well. Much of my taste in music is very much an acquired taste.

So it seems to me that in the arts, works often have to marinade a bit before we can decide whether they are great or not. Perhaps a similar thing is at work not just in individuals, but in society as a whole. After a century, some works linger while others disappear, for reasons that are difficult to codify and that are not apparent at first glance. This might be at work in cases like Dickens/Bulwer or Mozart/Salieri, and a quiz that takes a few minutes to do will not test for that effect.

There can be little doubt that hype and publicity plays a big role though. Especially in abstract expressionism.  ;-)

Brian
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Mikhail Simkin

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Re: "Scientific Inquiry" ? No
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2011, 05:53:06 PM »
In which case, it is perhaps somewhat surprising that people didn't recognize them.
Some do recognize. Just like in the art quiz.

Salieri was not a lightweight composer.
Certainly not a Bremen musician. So the results are far less scandalous than those of artist vs. ape quiz.

I might watch a film, think it is absolutely superb, and then upon seeing it again it fails to move me.
That's especially true for a detective story.