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The effect of selection bias in studies of fads and fashions.

Denrell J, Kovács B - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: Most studies of fashion and fads focus on objects and practices that once were popular.Through simulations and the analysis of a data set that has previously not been used to analyze the rise and fall of cultural practices, the New York Times text archive, we show that studying a whole range of cultural objects, both popular and less popular, is essential for understanding the drivers of popularity.In particular, we show that estimates of statistical models of the drivers of popularity will be biased if researchers use only trajectories of those practices that once were popular.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Warwick Business School, Coventry, United Kingdom.

ABSTRACT
Most studies of fashion and fads focus on objects and practices that once were popular. We argue that limiting the sample to such trajectories generates a selection bias that obscures the underlying process and generates biased estimates. Through simulations and the analysis of a data set that has previously not been used to analyze the rise and fall of cultural practices, the New York Times text archive, we show that studying a whole range of cultural objects, both popular and less popular, is essential for understanding the drivers of popularity. In particular, we show that estimates of statistical models of the drivers of popularity will be biased if researchers use only trajectories of those practices that once were popular.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

a: The distribution of word counts. b: Scatter plot with the maximums the trajectories reach and the minimum they reach after their peak.
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pone.0123471.g002: a: The distribution of word counts. b: Scatter plot with the maximums the trajectories reach and the minimum they reach after their peak.

Mentions: Fig 1 shows nine words and their trajectories between 1990 and 2006. This figure is intended for illustration purposes and the words are not randomly selected. These graphs illustrate that word trajectories follow various patterns: increase and remain popular like “iPod” or “Taliban”; increase but then decrease, such as “Lewinsky” or “Napster”. Or, with the words “ziplocs” or “sherdy,” some words never really take off and remain around 0 or one mention and this is actually the most common pattern, as we illustrate in Fig 2b.


The effect of selection bias in studies of fads and fashions.

Denrell J, Kovács B - PLoS ONE (2015)

a: The distribution of word counts. b: Scatter plot with the maximums the trajectories reach and the minimum they reach after their peak.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4401772&req=5

pone.0123471.g002: a: The distribution of word counts. b: Scatter plot with the maximums the trajectories reach and the minimum they reach after their peak.
Mentions: Fig 1 shows nine words and their trajectories between 1990 and 2006. This figure is intended for illustration purposes and the words are not randomly selected. These graphs illustrate that word trajectories follow various patterns: increase and remain popular like “iPod” or “Taliban”; increase but then decrease, such as “Lewinsky” or “Napster”. Or, with the words “ziplocs” or “sherdy,” some words never really take off and remain around 0 or one mention and this is actually the most common pattern, as we illustrate in Fig 2b.

Bottom Line: Most studies of fashion and fads focus on objects and practices that once were popular.Through simulations and the analysis of a data set that has previously not been used to analyze the rise and fall of cultural practices, the New York Times text archive, we show that studying a whole range of cultural objects, both popular and less popular, is essential for understanding the drivers of popularity.In particular, we show that estimates of statistical models of the drivers of popularity will be biased if researchers use only trajectories of those practices that once were popular.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Warwick Business School, Coventry, United Kingdom.

ABSTRACT
Most studies of fashion and fads focus on objects and practices that once were popular. We argue that limiting the sample to such trajectories generates a selection bias that obscures the underlying process and generates biased estimates. Through simulations and the analysis of a data set that has previously not been used to analyze the rise and fall of cultural practices, the New York Times text archive, we show that studying a whole range of cultural objects, both popular and less popular, is essential for understanding the drivers of popularity. In particular, we show that estimates of statistical models of the drivers of popularity will be biased if researchers use only trajectories of those practices that once were popular.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus