December 2012 Archives

Research is Everywhere: Part 15

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For my absolute last research journal I felt it was fitting to link to this website (http://www.centerforpubliceducation.org/Main-Menu/Instruction/What-research-says-about-the-value-of-homework-At-a-glance). Why? Because it gives the research on the subject of homework. Which is what this is, homework. The very first point is that there is no strong link between homework and student achievement.

I'll let you read the rest, but my one thing to say about that is there is a very strong link between homework and student achievement. Meaning if you don't do the homework don't expect to achieve good grades.

Have a great winter -and-homeworkless- break :D

Research is Everywhere: Part 14

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I found the the above image while I was surfing the web today...I'm not sure whether to be proud or not that I've only seen two of those movies (Oceans 11 and Interview with a Vampire) anyways...thoughts on how effective this poll is?
My thoughts is not very because what if 1. The person has more than one favorite and 2. What if they absolutely hate the actor (are they just supposed to bypass this poll?)

Research is Everywhere: Part 13

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http://josephsoninstitute.org/surveys/ found this link to a character study revealing predictions about lying and cheating (academic cheating).

The study, conducted by the Josephson Institute of Ethics conducted the survey studying high school character and adult conduct.

Some of their findings:
*Each generations is more likely to be unethical (lie and cheat) than the previous one.
*Our generations is more cynical than previous generations, and more likely to believe lying and cheating are necessary for success.
*And those who cheat in high school are far more likely to lie as an adult.

There's some happy information for you to chew on (says this 'cynical' author)

Research is Everywhere: Part 12

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(link: http://gma.yahoo.com/blogs/abc-blogs/pesticides-tap-water-linked-food-allergies-130240479--abc-news-health.html)

So I ran across this article a few days ago. It's about Tap water pesticides being linked to food allergies. I decided to comment on it because 1. I never had tap water until I moved to Minneapolis. 2. I have no food allergies. So I thought maybe, just maybe there might be something there.

A few comments:
According to the article they were only looking for statistical significance, which means their data, at best, is correlative. But still...am I even more of an advocate for well water? I think yes.

Research is Everywhere: Part 11

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Today I saw a flier asking for research participants in a couples memory study. Intrigued I looked closer. The study offered $25 for one hour of the participants time. It's a two part study, one part is done individually where the participants respond to a memory and perception questionnaire. The second part takes the couples into a lab for a memory and perception task.

Requirements are that the participants must be in a romantic relationship for at least three months, both must be willing to participate, and neither can have taken the test previously offered.

Sounds like a good deal, now if only that $25 were per person instead of per couple (rats).

But still, just further proof that research shows up all around us, especially on a college campus.

Research is Everywhere: Part 10

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Okay, last post tonight, I swear, I have to get some sleep some time.

Because I'm addicted to reading Yahoo! articles I often stumble across the most random things. I've been holding onto this article for awhile now because it's just so peculiar that I knew I had to write about it. The title of the article is "Study Investigates what Women Want" now first off, that could get me going because...well lets not go into that philosophical/psychological/political rant right about now.

( http://health.yahoo.net/experts/dayinhealth/study-slim-men-are-sexiest is the link in case you were curious)

The opening sentence follows through in great humor "Guys--size matters, but not in the way you think. Women are drawn to men with low body fat--not macho features" what an ego blow to all those guys who work out all the time. However, for men like my boyfriend it could be good news (he's seriously skinnier than I am and I'm tiny).
The basic premise of the study is that women swoon for guys who have very little body fat. Muscular or not. Huh. Who would have guessed?

My only comment on the matter is, could these results be biased because our current population is so turned off by obesity?

Research is Everywhere: Part 9

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Just as I was checking facebook (before going to bed) I saw this little poll...proving once again that no matter how hard I try or where I go, research is following me.

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Just some quick comments, I probably would have worded it "How much do you agree with this statement" instead of "How much do you agree that" but that's just my wording preference. Secondly, I probably would have had a spot to click for "don't know/don't understand" ...while yes, this is hard to code it would be better than someone randomly clicking one of the other options and skewing the data.

Research is Everywhere: Part 8

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It may no longer be Monday morning...but it's Tuesday morning, which is almost just as bad. So in honor of having to wake up, in the morning...near the end of the semester when everyone feels half dead already, I am going to comment on a yahoo article I found awhile ago which details when you are most likely to die. Coincidence that you are most likely to die in the morning? I think not.
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/most-likely-die-11-m-221354618.html (website link)

There's not much to say on this article or the research. It's a scientific research article, detailing about genetics, natural biology, and how technology surprisingly has a lack of influence on our time-of-death. How brilliant to know I'm not killing myself while on Facebook, or uploading things to moodle.

The methodology of the study was borrowed from a 15 year old study done by Rush University in Chicago. The study tested sleep-wake patterns in people over 65. After taking the data from that 15 year old study, the current researchers studied the brains of the participants who had died and discovered that a certain genotype were more likely to die in late morning. In my opinion the findings were not that significant, as you have about a 52% chance of dying in the late morning and a 48% chance of having the genotype that is more likely to die in late afternoon.

Research is Everywhere: Part 7

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In Research is Everywhere: Part 6, I talked about a survey I had just taken that had to do about bottled water. I commended the surveyors ability to keep the survey short and respect the participants time. In this blog I'm going to tell you all a story of why I refuse to take in person stories now.

Last year I was walking with my family in the Mall of America. We were stopped by a gentleman doing surveys about movies and he asked me to participate as they were looking for people specifically in my demographics (white, female, late teens-early twenties).

My parents pushed me to agree to take this "short, five-minute-tops" survey. Ha. What a joke. The guy dragged me over to a computer screen, handed me a pair of sketchy looking headphones (I am not a germaphobe, I grew up on a farm, but even *I* hesitated to put them on). Grudgingly I put them on and watched a couple of minutes of film clips, took a survey on the film clips and figured (Yay!) that I was done.

Nope, apparently I was only half done...next came a few more clips, surveys on the actors in the film and how I viewed and liked them...what other movies I had seen them in, what I thought about the film clips, what I noticed about the film clips ...etc etc etc...

Nearly a half hour later the guy finally declared that I was finished with the survey and could leave now. Thats it. No compensation for my time, no thank yous. Nothing. I felt so used.

Lesson to be learned: After that experience I refused to watch that movie (even though it had some of my favorite actors in it and it looked decent), I refuse to take surveys in person, and I'm skeptical about taking surveys that "only last five minutes"

So if you're developing a survey, make sure that is sweet and to the point, if its in person make sure everything is neat and clean. Be sure that you respect the participants and their time. And for the love of all things good, please don't lie to them about anything. It makes participants very bitter and upset. And besides, no one likes feeling used.

Thus concludes my rant about surveys.

Research is Everywhere: Part 6

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So I just completed a survey about bottled water usage. The survey was a few open ended questions about bottle water consumption and was done by a U of M student. In general it was fairly well done, though it does raise some interesting questions.

1. What does the student hope to gain from these insights? 10 or so open ended questions about bottled water, most of which were not really in depth, and somewhat difficult to answer due to ambiguity.

2. How does the surveyor hope to code these open ended questions? Is she looking for patterns or methods? Or just a few insights? If it's just for insights, wouldn't a focus group have been better for her purposes?

3. As previously mentioned, some of her questions were a bit confusing and difficult to understand. Not to mention a bit weird. In my opinion, if you're going to ask questions that are difficult to understand or that seem a bit weird or random you should include a "why we're asking this" or "what this has to do with it" area. Now this area could be placed afterwards as an explanation, or before, to provide insight so that participants are more likely to give full, thought out answers that are relevant.

Things I think she did well:
1. She gave plenty of space for answers (it was an online survey, but still, madprops)
2. She added incentives to take the survey (chance to win a gift card? I'll bite AND extra credit in my class? double score)
3. She explained what the survey was for and the benefits etc before the survey even started
4. She kept it brief. Always the most important part. A persons time is important and worthwhile and should be honored.

Anyways, that's it on this subject...

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

November 2012 is the previous archive.

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