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  1. Comment: Bayes, Model Uncertainty, and Learning from Data

    The problem of model uncertainty is a fundamental applied challenge in quantitative sociology. The authors’ language of false positives is reminiscent of Bonferroni adjustments and the frequentist analysis of multiple independent comparisons, but the distinct problem of model uncertainty has been fully formalized from a Bayesian perspective.
  2. We Ran 9 Billion Regressions: Eliminating False Positives through Computational Model Robustness

    False positive findings are a growing problem in many research literatures. We argue that excessive false positives often stem from model uncertainty. There are many plausible ways of specifying a regression model, but researchers typically report only a few preferred estimates. This raises the concern that such research reveals only a small fraction of the possible results and may easily lead to nonrobust, false positive conclusions. It is often unclear how much the results are driven by model specification and how much the results would change if a different plausible model were used.
  3. Estimating Heterogeneous Treatment Effects with Observational Data

    Individuals differ not only in their background characteristics but also in how they respond to a particular treatment, intervention, or stimulation. In particular, treatment effects may vary systematically by the propensity for treatment. In this paper, we discuss a practical approach to studying heterogeneous treatment effects as a function of the treatment propensity, under the same assumption commonly underlying regression analysis: ignorability.

  4. The High of Cultural Experience: Toward a Microsociology of Cultural Consumption

    Does the experience of cultural consumption have its own sui generis attraction and value in itself, or is it an index of external social ranking? Four criteria are proposed that are observable in microsociological detail: (1) bodily self-absorption in the cultural experience, creating an intense internal interaction ritual; (2) collective effervescence among the audience; (3) Goffmanian front-stage self-presentation in settings of cultural consumption; and (4) verbal discourse during and around the cultural experience.

  5. Inequality in Reading and Math Skills Forms Mainly before Kindergarten: A Replication, and Partial Correction, of “Are Schools the Great Equalizer?”

    When do children become unequal in reading and math skills? Some research claims that inequality grows mainly before school begins. Some research claims that schools cause inequality to grow. And some research—including the 2004 study ‘‘Are Schools the Great Equalizer?’’—claims that inequality grows mainly during summer vacations. Unfortunately, the test scores used in the Great Equalizer study suffered from a measurement artifact that exaggerated estimates of inequality growth. In addition, the Great Equalizer study is dated and its participants are no longer school-aged.
  6. Beyond America: Cross-national Context and the Impact of Religious Versus Secular Organizational Membership on Self-rated Health

    Studies using data from the United States suggest religious organizational involvement is more beneficial for health than secular organizational involvement. Extending beyond the United States, we assess the relative impacts of religious and secular organizational involvement on self-rated health cross-nationally, accounting for national-level religious context. Analyses of data from 33 predominantly Christian countries from the 2005–2008 World Values Survey reveal that active membership in religious organizations is positively associated with self-rated health.
  7. Visualizing Income Inequality and Mobility Together

    Research and public conversations about income inequality and intergenerational mobility will benefit from a new approach that jointly visualizes these two measures. The new mobility table proposed addresses this concern by scaling each quintile by the spread of income it represents. Implications of this approach for future analyses of inequality and mobility are discussed.
  8. Should I Stay or Should I Go? Religious (Dis)Affiliation and Depressive Symptomatology

    Religious affiliation is generally associated with better mental health. The nonreligious, however, currently constitute one of the fastest-growing religious categories in the United States. Since most of the nonreligious were raised in religious homes, their growth raises important questions about the mental health of those who consider dropping out of religion. In this article, I use longitudinal data from the Portraits of American Life Study to examine the impact of religious affiliation on mental health.
  9. The Societalization of Social Problems: Church Pedophilia, Phone Hacking, and the Financial Crisis

    This article develops a theory of “societalization,” demonstrating its plausibility through empirical analyses of church pedophilia, media phone-hacking, and the financial crisis. Although these strains were endemic for decades, they had failed to generate broad crises. Reactions were confined inside institutional boundaries and handled by intra-institutional elites according to the cultural logics of their particular spheres. The theory proposes that boundaries between spheres can be breached only if there is code switching.
  10. Correction

    In the trends piece, “Taking a Knee” (Summer 2018), two figures had labeling errors. Please see with corrected figures here or visit contexts.org/articles/nfl for the full article with corrections.