Facebook Use Doesn't Lower GPA

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As I was walking to class and saw a ton of students on their laptops on Facebook, I wondered how much Facebook has affected students' GPAs in this generation. I decided to look a study that researched this exact topic. I found a study done by Lockhaven University of Pennsylvania. It found from the 1,800 students surveyed that 92 percent use Facebook for an average of 106 minutes per day. For every additional 93 minutes spent on the site, GPAs drop about 0.12 points.

Overall the study found that there is no strong correlation between GPAs and Facebook usage. There is nothing the survey can prove that there is a relationship between the website and a drop in GPA. I appreciate this study because it said that there is may be a relationship, but the study cannot prove causation.


Hip Hop Listeners More Prone to Drug Use

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A new study done by the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation has found data that supports the idea that Hip Hop music makes listeners more prone to drug use and aggression. It found from the 1,200 participants that substance use and aggressive behaviors among young people were significantly associated to certain genres of popular music, mainly rap, rock, reggae and techno.

The author of the report said that it was a diverse study - 57 percent female, 27 percent Latino American and 5 percent black. They said that they are looking to do more extensive research on this subject which is good. The problem I see with this initial research is that all the participants were from California community-colleges. It could be that they have a I population of drug use and aggression in that state, with or without rap music.


America Moves Ideal Weight Higher

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A recent poll done by Gallup shows that the ideal weight that Americans claim has been on an increasing trend since 1990. This year the average is 162 pounds while in 1991 is 149 pounds. Actual average weight is 176 pounds in 2012 while it was 161 pounds in 1991.

Men claim 185 pounds is ideal which is the highest on record, while women claim 140 pounds tied for the record. 65 percent of Americans are over their ideal weight, last year 67 percent were in the same poll. The study also found that only 54 percent say they would like to lose weight. More shocking is that only 25 percent of Americans say they are seriously trying to lose weight.

This is very interesting data. It was collected by phone interviews with a random sample of 1,015 adults, using random-digit-dial sampling. This is a great way to sample the United States. The Gallup poll is a respected organization and has many years of experience.

Music On The Brain

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A recent study by Stanford School of Medicine looked into the effects of music on the brain. To do this they used brain images of people listening to short symphonies by an 18th century composer. They found that music engages the area of the brain involved with paying attention, making predictions and updating the event in memory. This may be why so many students listen to music when studying. The researchers goal was to look at how the brain sorts out events, but the research also found that the music techniques of old composers help the brain organize incoming information.
This is ground-breaking information because to the researchers' knowledge, no other study has answered questions about the way the brain segments events in the act of hearing music. They found that dynamic changes occurred in the brain during different phases of a symphony.
This is very well done research. They thought out how each variable effects the study, and when they came across new information as a result of their study, they did more research on that.

Social Media Report 2012

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There is a new Nielsen Wire study about the coming age of social media. It specifies how mobile phones have created a huge increase in social media use. It says that time spent of mobile apps account for 63 percent of the year-over-year growth in overall time spent of social media. 46 percent of users use smartphones and 16 percent of users use a tablet. From 2011-2012 the use of mobile phones to connect to social sites increased from 37 percent to 46 percent, tablet use also increased from 3 percent to 16 percent over that time period.

The Nielson surveys are very well respected so I believe that the information that they compiled is quite accurate. I looked at the 8 surveys and reports they sourced for their data none of the sources had any methodological errors.

Top Party Schools Study

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Every year Playboy releases its list of the Top Ten Party Schools. It seems as though this would be a difficult thing to calculate from a study, but they use a certain methodology. They took the top 100 colleges in America and ranked them across 900 data points in three different categories: sex, sports and nightlife.

These studies are typically done on campus or online, which means they are less likely to get an accurate representation of the entire student population. If a study about partying is put online by Playboy, it is highly unlikely for the non-party type students to participate. This means that a quarter of a school could party, but of the people that took the survey, the results show that 85 percent of the students party. This a big failure in the sampling techniques.
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Facebook Ads Not Worth A Company's Time

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It seems like every month more and more companies are turning to Facebook to advertise their product and increase their sales. But according to this new study, they are wasting their time.

In a time where Cyber Monday sales increased 30.3 percent from 2011, the study found that social networks generated only 0.41 percent of online sales, a 26 percent decrease from 2011. This is an astonishing find and could greatly change the way companies advertise online. This study supports the idea that social media is for branding and not for selling. The networks are built to build a relationship with customers and a trust between the consumers and the brand.

I think a big issue that this studies data supports is that there is no intent to buy by users while on social media sites. Google made 10 times as much as Facebook last year on a little more than half as many advertisements. When I am on Facebook and an advertisements pops up in my face, I see it as annoying and it just gets in my way of my activity. However, if I am searching for something on Google and an ad comes up, I may pay attention because I am in the mood to buy.

So what does this mean for the future of Facebook. First, a lot more research will be done. Expect very in-depth focus groups and research that looks into the behaviors of people with ads on Facebook compared to Google. This also means that companies will take a long look at whether advertising with Google is right for their business. I think we will find many companies moving to a platform such as Google +. For me personally and many other musicians, we will and are ready to move to the New MySpace once it is up and running because it provides a better platform to advertise our brand without dealing with paying to promote content just to have our fans see the statuses in their news feed.

Date Rape Ads Put Fault On Raper

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It is a sad reality, but in today's world, it is most common for the victims of rape to be blamed for the act. Ads like this put out by the US government only continue the spreading of this thought in the public.

Thankfully the police department in Edmonton, Canada have decided to come up with a brilliant new ad campaign called Don't Be That Guy to spread awareness and try to stop unwanted sex. The key words to this campaign is "sex without consent = sexual consent." The campaign was kick started after a report that showed alcohol was involved in over half of the sexual assault investigations by the department in 2011. Another cause of the campaign was a study done in the UK involving 18-25 year old males that showed that 48 percent of men didn't consider it rape if a woman was too drunk to know what was going on. This is an alarming statistic and deserves more research and action to be taken to fix the issue.

It's important to not only create the campaign, but to see if it is actually effective. To do this the Sexual Assault Centre of the University of Albert conducted informal research by going around campus and asking young men to give feedback on the posters. They also used focus groups to gauge the impact. I think this is a great way to scale the effectiveness of a campaign targeting men 18 - 24.

The main issue I have with this campaign is the use of "Don't Be That Guy." This phrase is often used as a joking matter in which someone does something stupid that might embarrass a group. It seems a little inappropriate to use this in such a serious campaign.


Rise of Online Surveys

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With the Internet becoming more prevalent in U.S. homes, the online survey has become a very popular way for researchers to reach people to conduct market research. This method is much different than most methods such as in-person, phone or focus groups, but it still has many benefits. These benefits have convinced many companies to try, and use multiple times, the Internet as the way to reach their target participants. After conducting some of my own online surveys I thought it would be interesting to look more into the benefits.

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The benefits:

1 - Online surveys have proven to be much faster and cheaper than other forms of surveying. The data is being automatically tallied and saves researchers a lot of time gathering and organizing the results. One of the best benefits is that it saves the researchers a great deal of money on distribution. There is no need for postage.

2 - Online surveys are more accurate than in-person, phone or focus groups. They eliminate the human recording error which can occur if a research recorder doesn't pay attention to a participant. The results are also ready to analyze any time which saves a company valuable time in their research process. This means they will possibly be able to launch or kill a certain product or ad quicker than if they had used another survey method.

3 - Another benefit of online surveys is the ease at which it can be used. Both for the researcher and the participant. It compiles the info for the company, but it also allows the participant to take the survey at their convenience. This is great because people will be less likely to rush through the questions as they might in a phone survey. You can also tailor the style and format for the companies image and to make the survey flow better. One way would be to create filter questions that the survey would automatically skip questions depending on what the person answered.

4 - Researchers can be much more selective of their participants. Pre-screening is a great tool to use to ensure you reach a specific target audience. This can bring you much more accurate data. Pre-screening is something that is very difficult with phone interviews because you can only call a household and hope that you are going to talk to the correct person.

Although online surveys are not perfect and have some disadvantages, they are a great tool for researchers to use and will most likely only become better over time.

Google Ads

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I think that Google has always been a great advertising company and this ad proves it. The formula they use is nothing new to the ad word, people have used personal stories to sell products for a very long time. But the emotions Google is able to draw from the viewers from a simple 1 minute ad is incredible. They have used this format in the past and it has worked just as well as it does now.

I see Google advertisements to be similar to a Budweiser ad, they are not trying to sell you the product, but just remind people of the existence. They already make a large enough amount of money where ads are no longer necessary, but they do it to keep their consumers in touch on a more personal level. With this ad, it hits college students and parents right in the heart. As I watched it, I was reminded of all the feelings I had and have of missing home along with Jess in the video. It doesn't seem like Google is pushing any product, but just telling a story. This is what works.

As I see the ad, I am almost being conditioned to tie my feelings on home to the Google Chrome browser. They want me to take comfort in what Goggle can do for me, and it has definitely worked.