Don van den Bergh Provides a Sneak Peek at the JASP Network Module: “Interview with a Team Member”

In our series Interview With A Team Member, we aim to introduce the people behind the JASP-project. Today we are interviewing Don van den Bergh, one of our analysts!

Don is an analyst at JASP and responsible for the frequentist and Bayesian reliability analysis, the machine learning module, and the network module. To contact Don, you can send him an e-mail.


What is your professional background?
After highschool I did a bachelor in psychobiology. In the third year during a research internship, I realized I wanted to pursue a career in science. Upon this realization, I remembered that a professor once said he believed two things were most important for a career in science: Programming and Statistics. So the next year I started developing exactly those skills at the psychological methods department. Afterwards I enrolled in the research master of psychology and further polished those skills. This September I started my PhD at Eric-Jan Wagenmakers’ department and I hope to learn a lot more.

What is your favorite statistical test?
Item response theory related models, since these models were the first to get me really excited about statistics.

What is your relation to JASP?
In September last year (2016), I started out as a new R programmer. I maintain the reliability analysis, worked a bit on the machine learning module and am now working on a JASP module for network analyses. A sneak peek at the functionality of this module is provided in the figure below.

Figure 1. A sneak-peek of the JASP network module (developers’ version). Output shows networks of the big five inventory, separately for men and women. The color red represent agreeableness, green extraversion, blue neuroticism, yellow conscientiousness, and purple openness. Data are from the R package ‘psych’.

What feature of JASP do you like best?
I like that JASP automatically makes clean tables.

What aspect of JASP would you like to see improved in a future version?
I’d like to see (and perhaps create) more options for modifying graphs.

Are you a Bayesian, a frequentist, an agnostic, a pragmatist, or perhaps something else?
A pragmatist. If given a choice, I’d try to do something in a Bayesian way. But there are some (rare) situations where I wouldn’t hesitate to use frequentist statistics.

What question would you like to answer?
What would be your wish-module?

What would be your wish-module?
Little known fact is that the JASP output window is actually a web browser! So perhaps in the (far) future it could also be used to display JASP tutorials or download papers that are referred to in the help files!

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