December 2012 Archives

Study shows growth in second screen users

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http://www.htrnews.com/viewart/20121206/MAN05/312060153/Study-shows-growth-second-screen-users

A trend study conducted by Neilson found that one in three people are using Twitter to talk about what they are watching on TV. The study also discusses how dependent people between the ages of 18-24 have become with a third of respondents in this age range admitting to Tweeting while they are in the bathroom. Neilson also reports that the number of minutes spent on social media has nearly doubled in one year. This has major implications for marketers, advertisers, and media in general. Media organizations and marketers are going to need to continue to evovle their strategy to 1. compete for attention and 2. take advantage of the opportunity to engauge the audience and create more two-way open communication.

Study: Smoking makes hangover worse

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http://www.kltv.com/story/20271423/study-smoking-makes-hangovers-worse

This is a very short article about a study conducted by Brown University where they found people who smoke while drinking experience a worse hangover than those that do not smoke.

In general, this study seems to be more of exploratory research since they don't know why or how smoking effects the severity of a hangover. It will be interesting to see the results if they decide to look further.

http://www.startribune.com/business/182176751.html

The survey in this article appears to be valid however, the way Star Tribune framed the story can make it seem slightly less valid. For instance: "It seems to me to be quite blatantly obvious that the lack of transparency in public finances in these four countries has been reflected in the figures," Anne Koch said. After fully reading the article, no where does it mention that the survey asked questions regarding the financial sector of the government. In fact, the article blatantly states that respondents were not asked any questions about the financial sector, only the public sector.

Alzheimer's care providers face communication dilemmas: study

The study done in this article uncovered communication breakdowns between nurses and caregivers at Alzheimer care facilities. Mainly how the caregivers did not receive training on how to communicate difficult or bad news to the families who came to visit their loved ones.

http://now.msn.com/public-policy-polling-poll-shows-25-percent-of-americans-have-opinion-about-fake-debt-reduction-plan

As the title of the article suggests, Public Policy Polling conducted a survey in which they asked respondents about a deficit reduction plan that does not exist. The purpose of this poll was to see how many Americans would pretend to be knowledgeable about the plans enough to offer an opinion. In other words, this demonstrates how respondents who are uninformed about the subject matter will provide an opinion and thus leading to response error.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/150149/Record-High-Americans-Favor-Legalizing-Marijuana.aspx

This study by Gallup is a longitudinal trend study. It shows how public opinion has been changing from 1969, when respondents were first asked about their opinion on legalizing marijuana, to now. Gallup surveys Americans every four years. This year according to the survey 50% of Americans are in favor of legalizing marijuana, however, most of those in favor are in favor the legalization of medicinal purposes and now for recreational.

http://www.globalwarming.org/2012/12/03/lung-association-poll-another-attempt-to-influence-public-opinion-in-the-guise-of-reporting-it/

I really enjoyed this article. The American Lung Association is called out for SUGing. They released a survey to the public asking them their opinion about air pollution. The poll may have been useful for the American Lung Association if they had published this survey without leading question.

For example they used this leading question: "As you may know, the EPA is proposing to update air pollution standards by placing stricter limits on the amount of fine particles, also called "soot," that power plants, oil refineries and other industrial facilities can release. Do you favor or oppose the EPA setting stricter limits on fine particles, also called "soot?" They then took the results saying people are in favor of taking action now to place stricter limits. Since most people don't know about the pending revisions there is no way to say with confidence that the answers received are about placing stricter limits on pollution or if it just reflects people's attitudes about air pollution in general.

Study Raises Questions on Coating of Asprin

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http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/05/business/coating-on-buffered-aspirin-may-hide-its-heart-protective-effects.html?_r=0

The purpose of this research study in the article was originally trying to determine whether or not asprin helps to prevent heart attacks and strokes. Through the process they discovered that the coating used on the pills may reduce the effectiveness of asprin. Regardless of the overall findings it is important to note that part of the research has been funded by Bayer Asprin which would make a person wonder if the final results of the study are biased in favor of asprin's link to preventing heart attacks and strokes because Bayer has a lot to gain and potentially lose depending on the outcome.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/josh-sugarmann/black-women-murdered-by-m_b_1981857.html

My friend posted this article from the Huffington Post on her Facebook wall and is a very touching and sad article. The author dug up research and found that 94% of black women who were killed knew the person who killed them. The article also reports how black women are 2.5 times more likely to be murdered than white women. Although this article doesn't dive to much into the research methods one can assume the author had to perform exploratory, secondary research.

Study says aging drivers won't wreck American roads

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http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2012/12/04/study-says-aging-drivers-wont-wreck-america-roads/

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has released a study showing that accident claims from aging drivers have declined. In the 1997-2009 study showed accident fatalities among older drivers has dropped in half. The study doesn't know what factors have led to this sharp decline but it speculates that the older driver is policing themselves more and being more cautious drivers.

Treating PTSD with Ecstasy: One story

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http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/03/health/ecstasy-ptsd-3/index.html

This article discusses a newer longitudinal study about Treating Veterans, and others who are suffering from a more severe case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The study is still in the early stages and has a low participation level as now with only 19 subjects. However, there are 280 people trying to find out if they qualify for the study.

There is a lot of negative associations with Ecstasy from the stories of recreational users and how dangerous the drug is perceived to be. One of the psychologist conducting the study says that using Ecstasy in these trials do not pose any physical threat to the patients taking the drug because they take it in a controlled environment, while a therapy session is taking place.

Based on this article, Ecstasy seems to be a viable option for treating those with severe PTSD because it allows them to revisit the traumatic experience(s) and to communicate with the psychologist about the trauma. The woman interviewed in this story reports that since she participated in the study she does not have the symptoms of PTSD as she once did and now feels that she can live a full life without constant fear and sadness.

Today I completed an online survey Conducted by the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA. The purpose of the study is to try to understand and improve the undergraduate college experience. They are offering participants a chance to win a $50 gift card from the campus bookstore for completing the survey.

For the most part the survey seemed well designed. However, one thing that annoyed me while taking the survey was that many of the response options were limited and I was forced to sometimes answer in a way that didn't match what how I wanted to respond, such as there was not a "never" option on some questions nor was there a "doesn't apply". By lacking these two options the survey may have some issues with response bias and response error. Overall, I think it will be a valuable tool for the UofM and other Universities around the country to use to gauge how students feel about their experiences.

Touch-screen phones have the edge, surveys show

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http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-20001570-94.html

Almost everywhere you go people are using touch screen phones, and those who are not using them seem to want them. In two recent studies conducted by JD Power, they have found that people using smartphones with touch screens have a higher level of customer satisfaction that users who don't have touch screen phones. The sample frame for this survey were people with traditional mobile phones and people who have had a smartphone for 2 years or less.

http://www.people-press.org/2010/09/12/americans-spending-more-time-following-the-news/

I found this article from the Pew Research Center. The article reviews a biannual study of who is paying attention to the news, and how they are receiving the news. This year they have found that number of Americans consuming news today is just as high as the mid-1990s.

The biggest difference from how people consumed news in the 1990's and now is technology. Today people are gathering news from a large variety of sources. It is true that the more traditional sources such as newspapers, and radio have lost ground, the internet, mobile devices, and other technological sources are increasing.

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