Bayesian reasoning and the South Park Hypothesis

3 Jun

There were many good presentations at APS this year, but by far the best was the three hour workshop I attended on JASP and Bayesian analysis run by Eric-Jan Wagenmakers. This led me to look up some of his writings including this great paper: “Bayesian Benefits for the Pragmatic Researcher.”

As way of illustration, the paper test the South Park Hypothesis: the contention that there is no correlation between the box office success and the quality of Adam Sandler movies. Quality is operationalized as freshness rating at Rottentomatoes.com.

Sandler

It is called the South Park hypothesis from this bit of dialog:

“Producer: Watch this. A.W.E.S.O.M-O, given the current trends of the movie going public, can you come up with an idea for a movie that will break $100 million box office?
Cartman: [as A.W.E.S.O.M.-O] Um… Okay, how about this: Adam Sandler is like in love with some girl. But it turns out that the girl is actually a golden retriever or something.
Mitch: Oh! Perfect!
Executive: We’ll call it “Puppy Love”.
Mitch: Give us another movie idea, A.W.E.S.O.M.-O.
Cartman: Um… How about this: Adam Sandler inherits like, a billion dollars, but first he has to become a boxer or something.
Mitch: “Punch Drunk Billionaire”.”

2 Responses to “Bayesian reasoning and the South Park Hypothesis”

  1. Enrique Guerra-Pujol June 4, 2016 at 2:07 am #

    Thanks for the pointer! I will check out the paper. (I wrote a paper describing “A Bayesian model of the litigation game,” so this will be reading for me this summer.)

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Bayesian models as predictions | prior probability - June 7, 2016

    […] friend and colleague Jeremy E.C. Genovese recently brought this short theoretical paper to our attention. The paper, which was written by Eric-Jan Wagenmakers, Richard D. Morey, and […]

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