# Observational Studies

• ### Cartoon: Acme Polling

A cartoon that invites conversation about the type of biases that may result from the way a pollster handles the logistics of taking a survey and thus the importance of careful planning.  The cartoon was used in the February 2022 CAUSE cartoon caption contest and the winning caption was written by Don Bell-Souder a student at University of Colorado, Boulder. Two alternative captions with the same basic learning object are “Selection bias is in the eye of the beholder” written by Sarah Arpin and “ACME polling finds that bootstrapping still reflects self-reporting bias.” Written by Rosie Garris who are also both students at University of Colorado, Boulder. The cartoon was drawn by British cartoonist John Landers (www.landers.co.uk) based on an idea by Dennis Pearl from Penn State University.

• ### Cartoon: Generals

A cartoon that can be used to help start a class conversation about when it is proper to generalize a conclusion to a broader population. The cartoon was used in the August 2021 CAUSE cartoon caption contest and the winning caption was written by John Bailer from Miami University. The cartoon was drawn by British cartoonist John Landers (www.landers.co.uk) based on an idea by Dennis Pearl from Penn State University.

• ### Poem: Pi-Ku

A poem generally celebrating statistics.  The poem was written by Sally Maughan and was chosen as the winner of an online contest seeking a Pi-Ku in the online mathematics education journal Aperiodical in 2020. A "Pi-ku" is like a Haiku except, instead of a 5-7-5 structure, it uses a 3-1-4 structure (the first three digits of π.

• ### Cartoon: Selection Bias

A cartoon that can be used in discussing the issue of selection bias. The cartoon appeared as number 2618 (June, 2022) in the web comic xkcd by Randell Patrick Munroe (http://www.xkcd.com/2618/).

• ### Cartoon: World Without Statistics - Epidemiology

A cartoon to illustrate the value of statistics in epidemiology, especially in developing causal evidence for the harmful effects of smoking based on observational data.  The cartoon was drawn in 2013 by British cartoonist John Landers based on an idea by Dennis Pearl from Ohio State University.  This item is part of the cartoons and readings from the “World Without Statistics” series that provided cartoons and readings on important applications of statistics created for celebration of 2013 International Year of Statistics.  The series may be found at https://online.stat.psu.edu/stat100/lesson/1/1.4

• ### Joke: The Effectiveness of Loving-Kindness Meditation

A joke to use in discussing Meta Analyses.  The joke was written in 2019 by Larry Lesser from The University of Texas at El Paso.

• ### Cartoon: Cohort and Age Effects

A cartoon suitable for use in teaching about cohort effects versus age effects in epidemiological studies. The cartoon is number 2080 (December, 2018) from the webcomic series at xkcd.com created by Randall Munroe. Free to use in the classroom and on course web sites under a creative commons attribution-non-commercial 2.5 license.

• ### Joke: Court Nominations

A joke to aid in discussing Confirmation Bias (bias introduced in surveys because respondents tend to interpret things in a way that confirms their preexisting beliefs).  The joke was written by Larry Lesser from The Universisty of Texas at El Paso and Dennis Pearl from The Pennsylvania State University in October, 2018.

• ### Galaxy Hunter: A Cosmic Photo Safari (JAVA required)

Explore the Hubble Deep Fields from a statistical point of view.  Watch out for the booby traps of bias, the vagueness of variability, and the shiftiness of sample size as we travel on a photo safari through the Hubble Deep Fields (HDFs).

• ### Biostatistics with NASA

This article gives a brief overview of the role of a biostatistician at NASA.  It also provides names of those one can contact in this area.