Friday, September 11, 2009

Topic side bias

Every summer there is discussion about the side bias of prospective controversy areas and resolutions. Using the data from, we can see what side bias past resolutions have exhibited.

Under the Bradley-Terry model, the energy, China, and security guarantee topics had small, yet highly statistically significant (p < .001), negative bias. The other three topics show no statistically significant bias either way.

The BT model suggests that the largest topic side bias in the past six years was 12.4%, on the energy topic. With a 12.4% neg bias, in an otherwise evenly matched round, the neg has a 52.9% chance of winning. For more details, see the description of how the bias is measured.