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Strad vs Modern - The results


Anders Buen

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The Dunning & Kruger paper I cited earlier gives a good template for conducting experiments of this sort. To minimize instrument selection bias, you start with 2 groups of people.

Are you seriously quoting the 2000 Ig Nobel price winners in Psychology on how to do scientific work?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Ig_Nobel_Prize_winners#2009

I quote from the Wiki article:

Kruger and Dunning proposed that, for a given skill, incompetent people will:

1. tend to overestimate their own level of skill;

2. fail to recognize genuine skill in others;

3. fail to recognize the extremity of their inadequacy;

4. recognize and acknowledge their own previous lack of skill, if they can be trained to substantially improve.

No matter how far aside their research and writing are, this could be a description of how you act in these discussions.

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Are you seriously quoting the 2000 Ig Nobel price winners in Psychology on how to do scientific work?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Ig_Nobel_Prize_winners#2009

I quote from the Wiki article:

Kruger and Dunning proposed that, for a given skill, incompetent people will:

1. tend to overestimate their own level of skill;

2. fail to recognize genuine skill in others;

3. fail to recognize the extremity of their inadequacy;

4. recognize and acknowledge their own previous lack of skill, if they can be trained to substantially improve.

No matter how far aside their research and writing are, this could be a description of how you act in these discussions.

Why don't you look up precisely why Ig Nobel Prize is given. (Hint: The prize is not just awarded to frivolous research.)

Secondly, you're the guy who wrote:

I do not see that line. Maybe you could try to convince me there is one and why?

Not that it matters for me, I do not counduct such studies. Nor am I a scientist. But I probably are one of the leading "thinkers" in the violin acoustics field.

Apparently the whole irony was lost on you. That you had to make this post, attempting to cite the Ig Nobel prize to discredit Kruger-Dunning as as serious research, speaks volumes.

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Are you seriously quoting the 2000 Ig Nobel price winners in Psychology on how to do scientific work?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Ig_Nobel_Prize_winners#2009

I quote from the Wiki article:

Kruger and Dunning proposed that, for a given skill, incompetent people will:

1. tend to overestimate their own level of skill;

2. fail to recognize genuine skill in others;

3. fail to recognize the extremity of their inadequacy;

4. recognize and acknowledge their own previous lack of skill, if they can be trained to substantially improve.

No matter how far aside their research and writing are, this could be a description of how you act in these discussions.

I'm not going to condone the way Flyboy sometimes acts in these discussions.

But being on the Ig Nobel list is not an indicator of scientific incompetence. Did you happen to notice who was awarded the 2000 Ig Nobel prize for physics, for example? :P

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Are you saying that you can't do your job as a (violin) journalist effectively unless you are a participant in a study such as Fritz? The whole scientific community should just open up all their labs to journalists so there's "transparency?" I'm sure you can think of good reasons why the world doesn't operate that way.

http://www.pbs.org/mediashift/2011/11/why-the-world-needs-better-science-journalism333.html

I just read your link,no where in there did it state that journalist must be excluded from any such tests,in order to qualify either the test or the journal. They do state that for effective journalism to happen that it is best when the writer has good knowledge of the subject....but that does not guarantee accurate outcomes.....It seems to me that having participated in the test,that Ariane,in fact helps to insure a more accurate journal, given that first hand experience is allowable in court,and not hearsay.

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Read aboout Clever Hans.

I know! What I'm saying is that just leaving the room might not be enough, except for a horse.

You stated that "the mere possibility of subtle cues being transmitted means the blinding procedure was improper."

On that basis, your proposed solution of leaving the room falls far short!

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The whole Fritz experiment was one big lost opportunity. In fact she may have poisoned the well for future serious research.

First the claim that her study was double-blind. We now know that the instruments were selected by Joseph Curtner and Fan Tao. This invalidates the claim that the test was double blind. In a double-blind test neither the researchers or the participants should have a priori knowledge on the selection of instruments. The Fritz study can not credibly make this claim. Fritz herself may not have known which instrument was which, but Curtner and Tao did.

This whole questionable claim could have been avoided had there been a instrument selection committee composed of career soloists who ranked instruments. These same instruments (or a randomized subset) could have been played by a second group, to see if they had similar relative ranking, and if not, why. There's no question in my mind the results of the study would have been significantly deeper. Not only would we have know the relative preferences of both groups, but also why. And more importantly, the researchers could credibly claim the study was double-blind.

Instead what we got was a study with results that are not enlightening, even obvious. As I stated before, most of us who hang out on this forum have sufficient difficulty distinguishing two fiddles apart by sight, never mind by ear. The results of her study have about as much significance as someone clearing their throat.

Compounding this disaster, you have a protocol where journalists and a blogger were invited to participate. This is unprecedented in any academic study where journalists and bloggers are not the main subjects of the study. This immediately raises additional questions regarding objectivity of the researcher and journalists involved. This too could easily have been avoided.

I wish Claudia Fritz good luck with her future research endeavors. Instead of demonstrating her ability for serious scholarship, methodically establishing credibility with musicians, in one fell swoop she has turned the whole arena into a circus. She could not even establish objective tests that players use to select instruments, never mind figuring out some of the subjective ones.

I'd be surprised if anyone who in possession of nice instruments would bother to answer her call at this point. Or calls from any other researcher. If the owners were not reluctant before this study they certainly are now.

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Why don't you look up precisely why Ig Nobel Prize is given. (Hint: There's not much correlation between getting the prize and whether is research is serious or frivolous.)

Secondly, you're the guy who wrote:

Apparently the whole irony was lost on you.

Their research cant't be among the serious material out there. I would not spend the time reading their article, although the theme might be interesting enough. I do not like it, too negatively focussed.

Yes, I somethimes respond like that when the blood rushes. Not wise. More objectively I tend to have good correlation between my own asessments of myself and how my friends and leaders does it. I also have data on instrument and room acoustics assessments where I know my own scores and can correlate these with the average scores. I am not an "outlier". In the study you quote they are operating with the 16th and 64rth percentiles. Sounds beyond any reasonable number.

At least I have been lucky to become invited to attend meetings where the leading experts in the violin acoustics field gather. Usually I am also one of the speakers. I spend a lot of time on it, an enthusiast. A few of my contributions to this site are probably from the "border of knowledge" in the field. There are many others here too doing so.

Now maybe we can get this thread back on track?

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strike one; a not so rigorous interpretation of double blind, and inadequate controls

strike two; journalists being involved on the panel of a "scientific study",

strike three; one of the researchers being a modern maker with a vested interest in the study coming out to support modern makers

90%of cutting edge scientific research is done by 10% of the researchers, these people arent in the 10%, but rather in the category of pseudoscience. you dont get to break all the rules of serious science and still call your study scientific

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No. They should have set them on the bed and left the room. You only mock yourself by engaging in such silly hyperbole. Try reading my posts more carefully next time.

There were a lot of different pairs of violins presented to each reviewer. That's a lot of leaving the room, and the subjects would have to leave too.

I'm satisfied that they did this very carefully.

But suppose you're right and they really did pick up hidden cues. How come they still couldn't tell the difference between old and new? I'm gonna keep repeating that point as long as people keep ignoring it.

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The whole Fritz experiment was one big lost opportunity. In fact she may have poisoned the well for future serious research.

First the claim that her study was double-blind. We now know that the instruments were selected by Joseph Curtner and Fan Tao. This invalidates the claim that the test was double blind. In a double-blind test neither the researchers or the participants should have a priori knowledge on the selection of instruments. The Fritz study can not credibly make this claim. Fritz herself may not have known which instrument was which, but Curtner and Tao did.

Now you are slipping mister! First of all Flyboy, Joseph Curtin, is his name.

Fritz did indeed know which instrument in the study was which as she handed it to Fan Tao, the goggle man who did not know which of the insturment he was handling. But he knew who the makers of the six instruments were. That information does not compromize the test.

This whole questionable claim could have been avoided had there been a instrument selection committee composed of career soloists who ranked instruments. These same instruments (or a randomized subset) could have been played by a second group, to see if they had similar relative ranking, and if not, why. There's no question in my mind the results of the study would have been significantly deeper. Not only would we have know the relative preferences of both groups, but also why. And more importantly, the researchers could credibly claim the study was double-blind.

You must be among the very few here who are able to tell us all what it takes to get to "the depth". :D

Instead what we got was a study with results that are not enlightening, even obvious. As I stated before, most of us who hang out on this forum have sufficient difficulty distinguishing two fiddles apart by sight, never mind by ear.

Here I think you are underestimating the MNers

The results of her study have about as much significance as someone clearing their throat.

That is also an underestimation.

Compounding this disaster, you have a protocol where journalists and a blogger were invited to participate. This is unprecedented in any academic study where journalists and bloggers are not the main subjects of the study. This immediately raises additional questions regarding objectivity of the researcher and journalists involved. This too could easily have been avoided.

Big words there. One could ask if one of the highest regarded american scientific journals would publish 'a disaster'.

There are no problems involved with the journalist and the blogger entering the study, as they were playing the violins. Your point here is no point.

I wish Claudia Fritz good luck with her future research endeavors. Instead of demonstrating her ability for serious scholarship, methodically establishing credibility with musicians, in one fell swoop she has turned the whole arena into a circus. She could not even establish objective tests that players use to select instruments, never mind figuring out some of the subjective ones.

I do not think she begged for entering the circus. She has been demonstrating her ability for serious scholarship, methodically establishing credibility with musicians in her work so far along with her collaborators. And she continues the good work.

I'd be surprised if anyone who in possession of nice instruments would bother to answer her call at this point. Or calls from any other researcher. If the owners were not reluctant before this study they certainly are now.

I do not think she particularly calls for nice instruments. I think that side came from Joseph and Fan with the contacts they have. The material we see from other studies they have done seem to contradict what you say.

The time will prove who is right.

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So without just tossing the baby with the bath water, how could we design a more perfect test?

1 see that the authors of the test do not select the instruments

2 place the instruments on the bed before anyone tester enters the room.

3 having a camera on the test subjects to insure there is no cheating.

4 larger test group

5?????

I'm just trying to find a middle ground for moving forward,looking for ways to improve the next effort, as opposed to simply tearing down the work that has been done.

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She could not even establish objective tests that players use to select instruments, never mind figuring out some of the subjective ones.

Poppycock! She used the type of test procedure which players typically use themselves, which is playing whatever they think is appropriate for the task. Had she established a set routine (which would be contrary to what players generally do), perhaps you'd be complaining about that. :D

Fritz herself may not have known which instrument was which, but Curtner and Tao did.

Curtner? Are Francis Kuttner and Joseph Curtin now a team?

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strike one; a not so rigorous interpretation of double blind, and inadequate controls

strike two; journalists being involved on the panel of a "scientific study",

strike three; one of the researchers being a modern maker with a vested interest in the study coming out to support modern makers

90%of cutting edge scientific research is done by 10% of the researchers, these people arent in the 10%, but rather in the category of pseudoscience. you dont get to break all the rules of serious science and still call your study scientific

Man, when you're coherent you're REALLY coherent. Well said, and very true.

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It is hard to tell in general what an old violin sounds like. I think most people would agree that some violins have old sound and in fact they are old instruments

(I am not saying that every old instrument has an old sound) Maybe the wood is old (well seasoned) plus age of the instrument.

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So if it was possible for the people running this test to give subtle clues to the players that made them choose certain instruments* then imagine what happens when a violinist goes to the violin shop to try out violins when a million dollars could be at stake!

*I don't think this happened in this test.

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But suppose you're right and they really did pick up hidden cues. How come they still couldn't tell the difference between old and new? I'm gonna keep repeating that point as long as people keep ignoring it.

Just so that you don't...

How do you know they couldn't tell?

Andrew

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