November 2012 Archives

Research is Everywhere: Part 5

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(http://travel.yahoo.com/ideas/america-s-most-stressful-airport.html)
the above link is an article written by Darren Booth for CNBC about America's most stressful airports.

I chose this article to write about thanks to the holiday season, thousands are traveling, and frankly, that creates a lot more stress. I mean, have you ever seen Home Alone? It's all about the holiday season, and traveling and people forgetting things and being stressed...oh and some kid fighting crooks.

The article is based around a study conducted by KRC Research for a travel and expense solutions company named Concur. They ranked the 16 most stressful U.S. Airports based on 1,500 business travelers.
One can only assume that they used a convenience sample, those whom they saw at airports and were willing to be interviewed. They also likely utilized an ordinal ranking questionnaire based on popular airports and then what factors were most critical in creating a stressful airport.

One interesting thing the study did find is that there is an increased importance of available Wi-Fi and electrical outlets to travelers. Though the most stressful components remain to be confusing airport signs, poor service, and not enough bathrooms.

So with that being said, hopefully you all will have safe travels home and be lucky enough to find one of those rare, stress free airports with clear signs, good service, enough bathrooms, and fantastic Wi-Fi.
Safe travels!

Research is Everywhere: Part 4

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http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/the-exchange/dirty-money-affects-spending-behavior-study-finds-222805139.html"

the above link is to a yahoo article titled: 'Dirty' Money Affects Spending Behavior, Study Finds.

According to the study, people are more likely to spend dirty or crumpled money than fresh new money. (Personally I think that is a load of crap, but whatever).

At the bottom they explained how they completed the study. In summary, they gave participants an anagram. If the participants solved it, they received either a crumpled up $10 or a fresh one. Then they were told that they could do another anagram if they bet their current $10. If they solved the anagram they would win $20 (which was shown to them and was again, either new or crumbled).

According to the results, people with a crumpled $10 who were offered the new $20 if they won gambled more often than those with a fresh $10 or who were offered a crumpled $20.

However, when I went to the actual study (http://http://www.jcr-admin.org/files/pressPDFs/100312163624_Noseworthy_Article.pdf) there was more to it than that, including a feeling of pride, where people were more likely to spend a new bill in the presence of others, but save it when alone.

A little bit about the study: Participants were undergraduates from the University of Winnipeg. There were two studies. One, the above gambling study, and the one mentioned below.
Undergraduates were offered $20 for participation in this study. Once in the study, they were offered wallets with a total of $20 in it, divided into a $10, a $5, two $2, and a $1. They were randomly assorted into groups that had crumpled bills and groups that had crisp bills. All of the bills were new.

In total, all results showed that people are more likely to save new crisp bills, and spend crumpled ones. Okay, now I will admit, it sounds a bit more likely. But still, there is definitely the problem of the fact that the study only tested on Undergrads...seriously, can you draw many conclusions about the entire population from a group of college students looking for easy money? Answer: definitely not.
Also, in the age where the majority of us use debit and credit cards, I foresee bills becoming (and this study) eventually becoming obsolete.

Research is Everywhere: Part 3

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View image

The image provided is a screen shot I took after I voted and clicked on the little "I voted" button on Facebook. Which then took me to a page to show me "real time" voting of facebook users. While the image is cool, and the demographics listed further down on the page are also a "cool" thing to know, it is also very misleading.

On Facebooks voter demographics it showed that men voted only half as often as women did (photo of this is not included). However, it did not explicitly remind viewers that that only includes 1. Facebook users and 2. Facebook users who clicked on the "I voted" button on Facebook. Now, at the very very bottom in itty bitty print it did say this, but my point is, isn't it better to be straightforward with the statistics that you're presenting rather than ever have the chance of looking misleading?

So in conclusion, I feel that Facebook should have been more obvious about the fact that what they were showing was only the statistics of Facebook users who clicked on a certain button, it would have made it a more reliable source of information, rather than showing an obvious bias as truth.

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