New course in social psychology

As I, fingers crossed, wind down my graduate work in economics, I am looking for new hobbies. I was thinking about getting back into baseball. I loved baseball when I was a kid and now, thanks to Moneyball and Baseball Prospectus, there is a “scientific” sub-culture where I would fit nicely. Plus, I’d finally have a reason to get cable.

Or maybe the stock market. Lots of easily accessible data. Check. Interesting theory. Check. Lots of amateurish dabbling. Double check. The only problem is I can’t get excited about trading stocks. The data crunching has moved analysis so far away from the fundamentals that unless you think winning at zero-sum games is fun it’s hard to maintain excitement about it. I’ll probably dabble.

Then there’s social psychology. There’s some data and amateurs abound. Methodologically, the field is familiar to economists but they have done what economists are only starting to do; they’ve dropped the assumption of context independent behavior. The field is young enough that it still has a multi-disciplinary feel and every new finding seems revolutionary. Will Wilkinson is teaching an introductory course in it at his new blog (partial syllabus here). I’ve signed up.

23andMe data are in…

… and I’m boring. There’s no traces of Indian in me (a now debunked family story) and the white in me isn’t that interesting either:

This chart was produced using EURO-DNA-CALC (h/t Volokh). I’m 1/4 Italian-Swiss (hence the name) and the rest Anglo-French mix so the tool did a pretty good job pin-pointing my genetic origins.

Next, I think, I’ll do this. I have no clue why one would want to phase one’s genes but, you know, “because it’s there”.

UPDATE: Here’s one reason why you’d want to phase your genome… Did mom or dad give you your Neanderthal genes?

Davis > Santa Cruz

By revealed preference:

Cameron Massoudi, who attends Irvine’s Northwood High School, said he was upset to be placed on UC Davis’ lengthy waiting list and decided last month to go with a solid acceptance from UC Santa Cruz. Then earlier this month, UC Davis offered him enrollment and he decided to switch.

As a macroeconomist I can assume Cameron Massoudi is a representative agent…

June 6, 1999

A week after my graduation from college, I ordered: The Virgin Queen by Christopher Hibbert, Measuring Customer Satisfaction by Bob Hayes, Unidimensional Scaling by McIver and Stocks for the Long Run by Jeremy J. Siegel.

I just started my first “real” job, at a customer survey company.

(meme inherited from McArdle)