November 2012 Archives

According to koreatimes, fathers of only daughter have been found to most believe that men and women are equal. The state-run Korea Women's Development Institute reported Monday that fathers of only daughter scored 76.76 on average in a survey of consciousness of gender equality for 1,800 parents of elementary, middle and high school students last July.

The figure is higher than the 74.92 by mothers of two daughters and the 73.72 by mothers of only daughter. The gap is quite wider with fathers of one child or more other than the only daughter. The lowest scorers are fathers of the only son with 60.68, 16 points less than highest scorers. Fathers with one son and one daughter came ninth with 63.32 and fathers of the only daughter seventh with 60.05.

On the part of parents, mothers are more understandable about gender equality than fathers at 71.5:64.81. In terms of children, parents of daughters scored higher than those with sons at 73.38: 68.19. Ahn Sang-soo, senior researcher at the institute, has focused on Ddal Babo or "Fool to daughters " meaning those who blindly love their daughters. Gender equality has mainly affected parents whose children are daughters or not.

"Even fathers with general conception experience gender inequality in an indirect manner, while rearing their daughters," said Ahn. "Daughter's life affected fathers' mindset about women positively as they always worry about or expect much from their daughters."

This research asked 12 questions including 'Men, as a patriarch, should get more salary than women', 'It does not look good when a man work in a lower level of position than a woman', and 'It does not look good when a man cook in the kitchen' on a 4 scale and converted into a 100 scale.

The 4 scale seems like a little narrow to measure the degree of agreement exactly. However, overall it was interesting research about fathers' attitudes toward gender-equality and the method they used, Likert scale, was appropriate.

Importance of a moderator

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This Youtube video shows the importance of a moderator in a focus group interview. This guy is not ready for this interview at all. He does not know the medical terms or background of the product even thought it was a focus group interview about a technology being used in health care industry. Also he embarrassed a participant. This could make participants express their opinion passively. As professor Jennifer stressed in class, a moderator is a very important role in a focus group interview. A moderator should be fully prepared with background information about the subject matter of a focus group interview, and encourage participants so they can participate actively and come up with as many insights as they can.

An Invitation to participate in a survey

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For one of my group project, we conducted an online survey about attitudes toward the use of smartphone and Samsung galaxy's advertising strategy. We ended up this survey with 42 participants, which was more than what we expected. Since larger sample sizes reduce sampling error, we could generalize the population more correctly.
However, for the question 'Rank the order of importance for the factors you are influenced by when making a cell phone purchase?', we could have put 'Price' as one of the choices along with Design, Advertising, Store/Online salesmen, Smartphone capabilities and Friends/Family. The result shows that most of people are not loyal to a specific brand. After watch a Samsung galaxy ad which mocks Apple fanboys, most of people had more positive attitudes toward Samsung than Apple.

1. Do you own a smartphone?

2. If you answered yes to the previous question, what brand do you own?

3. Do any members of your immediate family own a smartphone?

4. If you answered yes to the previous question, what brand (s) do they own?

5. Rank the order of importance for the factors you are influenced by when making a cell phone purchase?
Store/Online salesmen
Smartphone capabilities

6. Are you planning to purchase a smartphone in the future?
Yes, 1-6 months
Yes, 7-12 months
Yes, 13+ months
I don't know

7. When purchasing a cell phone, are you loyal to a specific brand?

8. If you answered yes to the previous question, please specify the brand.

9. Please open the video link in a new tab and watch the ad before answering all other questions. Do not close this window as all data will be lost.

10. Without viewing the ad again, what do you remember? (can be visual or vocal)

11. What brands do you believe are identified in the ad?

12. Please rate the ad you just viewed on the following attributes.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Bad= 1,Good =7
Unfavorable=1, Favorable =7

13. Please rate your thoughts towards Samsung after viewing the ad.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Bad=1, Good=7
Discreditable=1, Credible=7
Negative=1, Positive=7

14. Please rate your thoughts towards the competing brand displayed in the ad.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Bad=1, Good=7
Discreditable=1, Credible=7
Negative=1, Positive=7

15. After viewing the ad, has your willingness to purchase a smartphone changed?

16. If you answered yes to the previous question, in what time frame are you planning to purchase a smartphone?
1-6 months
7-12 months
13+ months

17. What is your gender?
Prefer not to answer

18. What is your age?
46 +
Prefer not to answer

19. What is your annual income?
Less than $5,000
$5,001 - $10,000
$30,001- $40,000
$40,001- $50,000
$50,001 +
Prefer not to answer

Hormone may keep men from cheating

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According to a new study from Germany, the "love hormone" oxytocin may help maintain romantic relationships by prompting men to keep their distance from attractive women.

In the study, men in monogamous relationships who were given an oxytocin nasal spray stayed about four to six inches farther away from an attractive, woman they didn't know, compared with men in monogamous relationships who received a placebo. The oxytocin spray had no effect on the distance that single men chose to keep between themselves and the attractive woman. The results suggest the hormone promotes fidelity in humans, said study researcher Dr. René Hurle­mann, of the University of Bonn. The findings agree with previous research conducted on prairie voles, which suggested the hormone plays a role in pair-bonding.

The study involved 57 heterosexual males, about half of whom were in monogamous relationships. After receiving either a dose of oxytocin or placebo, participants were introduced to a female experimenter who they later described as "attractive." During the encounter, the experimenter moved towards or away from the men, and they were asked to indicate when she was at an "ideal distance" away, as well as when she moved to a distance that felt "slightly uncomfortable."

The effect of oxytocin on the attached men was the same regardless of whether the female experimenter maintained eye contact, or averted her gaze. Oxytocin also had no effect on the men's attitude toward the female experimenter - whether men received the oxytocin or the placebo, they rated her as being equally attractive.

In this experiment, the men were asked to indicate when she was at an "ideal distance" away, as well as when she moved to a distance that felt "slightly uncomfortable". When they asked, they might be mindful of the procedure and the result of the experiment. In other words, since they knew this experiment was about the ideal distance between him and a woman, they might answered "ideally", probably not showing their "real ideal distance" especially when they are married. This might be the one reasons why men in monogamous relationships were affected by oxytocin, but the oxytocin spray had no effect on the distance of the single men.

Also the female experimenter's marital status or age might affect the men's attitude or answers. This experiment does not include how oxitocin act on the brain to affect the behavior. More research about the way oxytocin worka on the brain should be conducted.

Coffee May Protect Women's Memory

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For women older than 65, drinking that extra cup of joe may protect thinking and memory skills, according to a new study published Monday in the journal Neurology.

Women who drank more than three cups of coffee -- or the equivalent amount of tea -- per day showed less decline in performance over time on memory tests than women who drank only one cup or less of coffee.

"We looked at the relationship between coffee drinking and cognitive decline, and we found that there was a relationship," said Karen Ritchie, an epidemiological and clinical researcher at La Colombiere Hospital in Montpellier, France. "It was clear -- the more coffee, the less the decline. We then had to adjust for other factors, and we found that the more we adjusted, the greater the effect."

The study observed 7,000 people over age 65 whose memory skills and caffeine consumption were monitored for four years. Since most people get their daily dose of caffeine in a cup (or three) of coffee, the number of times participants enjoyed this beverage daily was used as a measure of how much caffeine they took in daily -- though the chemical also exists in tea, soda, chocolate and other foods in smaller amounts.

The researchers found that not only did heavy coffee-drinkers have less memory decline, but the benefits increased with age. Women over the age of 80 who drank four or more cups of coffee were 70 percent less likely to have a decline in memory.

The benefits of increased coffee intake are significant for women, but caffeine's mind-preserving effects were not seen in men, causing researchers to wonder why.

The researchers said that although they are not sure exactly how caffeine, a stimulant, seems to decrease memory loss, they think it may put the brakes on the chemical changes in the brain that are thought to eventually lead to Alzheimer's disease.

This study observed 7,000 people over age 65 for four years. Since this is a huge number of sample and a long time period study, there might be a lot of participants who forgot to record their consumption of coffee daily and correctly. Also, there is no control group. They just compared people's memory skills and caffeine consumption in the same sample. They need to observe those who do not drink any kind of caffeine at all for more concrete result. They don't explain why women show more significant benefits than men and why the benefits increased with age. They need to conduct more experiments with men group and different age groups so that they can infer the reason why the benefits are different according to sex and age.

Insulin reduces food consumption

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Puffs of insulin administered through the nose reduced food consumption by 11.7% in non-diabetic men compared with a placebo, but the insulin had no effect on their feelings of hunger, according to a study in the journal Diabetes. Previous research suggests insulin is among several hormones used by the brain to adjust and control energy levels and body weight in humans.

The study compared energy metabolism in the brain and food intake in experiments involving 15 German men in their mid-20s. In one, subjects received four puffs of intranasal insulin before breakfast and, in the other, they received a placebo substance, also through the nose. Following both experiments, subjects were instructed to eat as much breakfast as they wanted. Before and after eating, subjects underwent a type of imaging that measures cellular or metabolic activity in the brain.

Levels of adenosine triphosphate, an indicator of cerebral energy, were significantly elevated in subjects within 10 minutes of receiving insulin compared with the placebo, results showed. Intranasal insulin also raised phosphocreatine levels, another brain-energy indicator, but glucose and insulin levels in the rest of the body and feelings of hunger didn't change throughout the study. Intake of carbohydrates and protein were lowered the most, results showed. Intranasal insulin may be useful in treating obesity, researchers said.

The study sample,15 German men in their mid-20s, was too small to generalize the population. Also this study didn't include women or different age groups. They need to conduct both men and women and more diverse age groups for more generalized, solid result. In this study, they had a control group which was received a placebo substance through the nose instead of real insulin. This control group made the causal relationship more clearly, helping the researchers can be sure that the variable is causing the changes not by something else.

Increasing daytime physical activity may improve the normal decline in blood pressure that occurs at nighttime in postmenopausal women, according to a report in the American Journal of Hypertension.

Blood pressure drops about 10% at night in healthy individuals. A smaller drop, termed blunted dipping, is considered a cardiovascular risk factor in men, because the heart and blood vessels are working harder than they should be during sleep. Few studies have examined nocturnal blood-pressure variations in women.

A research team led by Duke University administered 24-hour blood-pressure tests to 102 women in their mid-60s, roughly half of whom had heart disease. A wrist monitor recorded physical activity, and blood pressure was recorded about every half-hour. Women whose nighttime blood pressure dropped less than 10% were considered nondippers. Readings indicated blood pressure dropped less than 10% in 78% of heart-disease patients and 50% of controls. Compared with controls, women with heart disease had significantly higher nighttime systolic blood pressure, the top number in a blood-pressure reading and the most important in assessing cardiovascular risk, researchers said. There were no significant differences in diastolic readings. After accounting for individual differences, women who were more physically active were more likely to show a healthy nighttime blood-pressure dip, the study found.

Blunted dips might be common in older subjects from both men and women groups not only in women. Also the blood-pressure-cuff inflations might affect the result by disrupting the subjects' sleep. This in turn may contributed to higher night readings. This study does not explain why women who were more physically active were more likely to show a healthy nighttime blood-pressure dip. A further study about the relationship between active lifestyle and healthy nighttime blood-pressure dip should also be conducted to support the result.

Men vs. Women: The Search for the Parked Car

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Men and women use different spatial memory techniques to find their cars in crowded parking lots, says a study published in Applied Cognitive Psychology. The research showed women relied more on visible landmarks and took substantial detours, while men were better at estimating distances and more likely to take a direct route to the vehicle.

The subjects were 115 shoppers, 59 men and 56 women, at a mall in the Netherlands. Each underwent interviews and tests designed to assess spatial memory, or the ability to remember where things are in the world. For example, they were asked to estimate the distance from the mall exit to the car and to point to their car on a map of the 431-space lot. Subjects described the route and strategies they might use to locate their car.

About 59% of women and 42% of men reported having some or frequent problems retracing their cars in parking lots, though the difference wasn't statistically significant. Landmarks were used by 38% of women compared with 15% of men; 21% of women and 7% of men said they often took detours of up to 400 feet before finding the vehicle.

Men were significantly better than women at estimating the car's location on a map but 83% of women and 81% of men reported using conscious strategies to find it. For example, 57% of women and 66% of men park near the entrance; 63% of women and 49% of men retrace their original path; 38% of women and 32% of men use mental imagery; and about 20% of both sexes have a favorite spot. Only 4% use a mobile phone app or GPS device.

This study offers an insight into how men and women use their spatial memory differently in the real world. However, testing conditions, such as time of day, amount of traffic and potential distractions, were slightly different for each participant. This might affect the result of the study. Also use of a key fob to set off the car's alarm to find it wasn't measured. In general, older people had more difficulty locating their car, but they didn't consider the age of the subjects.

Math anxiety hits brain like physical pain

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Anxiety about mathematics can create a response in the brain similar to when a person experiences physical pain, researchers at the University of Chicago say. Brain scans showed brain areas active when highly math-anxious people prepare to do math overlap with the same areas that register the threat of bodily harm or, in some cases, physical pain, they said.

Researchers say the higher a person's anxiety about math, the more anticipating math activated areas of the brain related to experiencing pain. Credit: Sian Beilock (UPI)

"For someone who has math anxiety, the anticipation of doing math prompts a similar brain reaction as when they experience pain -- say, burning one's hand on a hot stove," psychology Professor Sian Beilock said in a university release Thursday. A surprising finding, researches said, was that it was anticipation of having to do math, and not actually doing math itself, that evoked the pain-like response.

This research shows that the anticipation of doing math prompts a similar brain reaction as when they experience pain. This is interesting because the participants didn't do real math activities at all. However, this research does not show how the participants' areas of the brain related to doing math activities. If they compared when the participants anticipated math and when they did the real math activities, the result of the research would be much stronger.

Working out in the park may have more psychological benefits than hitting the gym, according to researchers who found that "green exercise" enhances mood, self-esteem, motivation and enjoyment.

However, researchers noted that the positive effects have more to do with the color green than with being surrounded by nature. Researchers said that the latest finding, published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, is the first to show that the color green may contribute to the mental benefits of exercising in the great outdoors.

British researchers at the University of Essex conducted a small study of 14 college-age men who were asked to ride an indoor stationary bicycle for five minutes while watching a video that simulated cycling though a natural environment. Researchers had then switched the filter of the video screen from green to black and then white for five minutes. Afterwards, they asked participants to cycle for five minutes looking at the screen through a red filter.

Researchers had evaluated the mood immediately after each five-minute cycling sessions. The results from the study showed that participants felt less fatigued and experienced fewer mood disturbances when they watched the video through the green filter compared to when they viewed the video through the other color filters.
Researchers noted that the men reported feeling more angry when they viewed the red-filtered nature video.

In the past, the same group of researchers found that as little as five minutes of outdoor exercise was enough to produce significant improvements in mood and self-esteem.
Researchers said that the latest findings suggest that being exposed to shorter-wavelength colors like blue and green evokes feelings of calmness whereas longer-wavelength colors like red and yellow are more stimulating. Researchers hypothesized that the latest findings may be the result of evolution. They explained that because lush greenery indicated abundant food and nearby water to early human ancestors, positive feelings toward the color green may have become hardwired into the human brain over the course of evolution.

In this research, the sample was small. They only conducted the experiment with 14 people and all the participants were men. They need to conduct the experiment with and get results from women as well as men, because there is a possibility that men and women react differently. Also the order of showing different colors might affect the result. They showed in order of green, black, white and red. The participants might feel more tired when they saw the last color, red, than when they saw green color. Therefore, if they conduct another experiment with a different order of colors, the result would be more solid.

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This page is an archive of entries from November 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

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