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Two Key Techniques for Quantifying the Robustness of Causal Inferences - Online Course

An 8-Hour Livestream Seminar Taught by

Kenneth Frank
Course Dates: Ask about upcoming dates
Schedule: All sessions are held live via Zoom. All times are ET (New York time).

10:30am-12:30pm (convert to your local time)

In just 8 hours (over 2 days), you will get hands-on experience with quantifying the sensitivity of a causal inference using two specialized techniques – Robustness of Inference to Replacement (RIR) and Impact Threshold for a Confounding Variable (ITCV).

The phrase “But have you controlled for …” is fundamental to social science, but can also create a quandary. Even after controlling for the most likely alternative explanations for an inferred effect, there may be some alternative explanation(s) that cannot be ruled out with observed data. Generally, the first response is to develop the best models that maximally leverage the available data. After that, sensitivity analyses can inform discourse about an inference by quantifying the unobserved conditions necessary to change the inference.

In this course, you will learn how to generate statements such as “An omitted variable would have to be correlated at ___ with the predictor of interest and with the outcome to change the inference.” Or “To invalidate the inference, __% of the data would have to be replaced with counterfactual cases for which the treatment had no effect.” Because these statements express sensitivity in terms of correlations or cases they have wide accessibility.

Rooted in the foundations of the general linear model and potential outcomes, the techniques can be adapted to a range of analyses, including logistic regression, propensity-based approaches, and multilevel models. As a result, they can broadly facilitate discourse about inferences among researchers who seek to make an inference, challengers of that inference, policymakers, and clinicians.

Starting February 29, we are offering this seminar as an 8-hour synchronous*, livestream workshop held via the free video-conferencing software Zoom. Each day will consist of two 2-hour lecture sessions which include hands-on exercises, separated by a 30-minute break. You are encouraged to join the lecture live, but will have the opportunity to view the recorded session later in the day if you are unable to attend at the scheduled time.

*We understand that finding time to participate in livestream courses can be difficult. If you prefer, you may take all or part of the course asynchronously. The video recordings will be made available within 24 hours of each session and will be accessible for four weeks after the seminar, meaning that you will get all of the class content and discussions even if you cannot participate synchronously. 

Closed captioning is available for all live and recorded sessions. Live captions can be translated to a variety of languages including Spanish, Korean, and Italian. For more information, click here.

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