Sample Size

Posted: February 3, 2012 in Uncategorized

I don’t like maths, simple as. Especially as you can abuse maths to prove pretty much anything. LIES you say but check this out. Have you ever noticed that the number 11 has a powerful and mysterious connection to the 9/11 attacks.

  • The date of the attack: 9/11 – 9 + 1 + 1 = 11
  • *September 11th is the 254th day of the year: 2+5+4 = 11
  • *After September 11th there are 111 days left to the end of the year
  • .Twin Towers – standing side by side, looks like the number 11
  • *The first plane to hit the towers was Flight 11 by
    *American Airlines or AA – A=1st letter in alphabet so we have again 11:11
  • *State of New York – The 11th State added to the Union
  • *New York City – 11 Letters
    Afghanistan – 11 Letters
  • *The Pentagon – 11 Letters
  • *Ramzi Yousef – 11 Letters (convicted or orchestrating the attack on the WTC in 1993)
  • *Flight 11 – 92 on board – 9 + 2 = 11
  • *Flight 77 – 65 on board – 6 + 5 = 11

excuse me but i think that’s bulls*%t, now why have i used such an extreme example, because this next bit is boring, unlucky reader. I realized when playing with some data in out last small groups session that you can sometimes create a significant difference where there wasn’t one before by simply increasing your sample size. Now don’t jump to any conclusions i wouldnt just make up data im not going to lie. But why not just copy and paste the data you already have, its not like your inventing numbers its all true. so why not?
Comments welcome.


The Dangers of Covert Ethnography

Posted: November 14, 2011 in Uncategorized

*warning video has scenes of violence*

Visions of Spy thrillers come to mind, double agents fem fatales and deceit spring to mind. But the reality may be more like spending 52 days trying to convince every one your not mental. If you haven’t guessed I’m referring to the famous Rosenhan study of 1973. where participants were admitted to mental hospitals under the impression they had schizophrenia even though as soon as they were in, they acted normal. Unfortunately, the Doctors and staff took their time to realize what was really going on. Diaries where noted as writing obsessions, pacing down corridors (derived from boredom) was seen to be strange. It seems once you go undercover like this, the risks can be high.

Ethnography is a technique used to collect qualitative data by immersing one self into the culture and social norms of the target population. Such as going and joining a rural tribe in a third world country so you can really understand where they are coming from. Problem is such a tribe might have a tenancy to eat foreigners, but you probably wouldn’t to be able to pull of the ethnography until it was to late.

Nokia  used this technique in Asia and Africa which lead to the development of an image only mobile with a long battery life. So it can be employed by businesses to.

There are other problems with ethnography:

  1. As much as the research immerses them-self, they still have preconceived ideas and behaviors.
  2. How can you gain informed consent from some one who doesn’t know your observing them.
  3. People may disclose sensitive information under false pretenses.
  4. the whole process may well be based on deception.
  5. The Research may be having an effect on the observed without realizing it.

It’s important to remember that not all ethnography is bad, using it overtly can be harmless. The problem is the reason you have to be covert in the first place has to out weigh the possible risks.

homework for wendy week 5

Posted: October 26, 2011 in Uncategorized


Posted: October 18, 2011 in Uncategorized

Just a video which is relevant and funny.

Can Statistics Make you a Winner?

Certain websites claim that for x pounds a month if you give them the horse you wish to bet on they will use a plethora of statistic to tell you what you real chances of winning are. things like:

Has a certain age group dominated this race ?
Has a certain sex developed a big advantage because of the race conditions over the years ?
Can you be sure that the horse you intend to bet has no serious statistical flaws in the race you think it will win ?
What is the ideal preparation needed to win the specific race ?
The one that grabbed my attention was the last one. what is the ideal preparation needed to win the specific race? Well juicing you horse up on super steroids is a good start and maybe threatening a few of jockeys might help. Of course these are extreme examples but as much as you throw statistics at it. Its still a real race in the real world (unless your really sad and enjoy virtual horse racing) and extraneous variables are still going to effect the outcome.
Poker is another form of gambling where it may seem logical to employ statistics. On the interweb you can find several examples of poker calculators which if u tell them your hand and the cards on the table it will calculate your odds for you. for example if you have 2 aces and there are 2 aces, a jack 10 and a 9 on the table you have a 99.1% chance of winning. However lets not forget that you are not just playing the cards, you are playing people, people who bluff or double bluff or triple bluff or don’t bluff but pretend they don’t understand whats happening and end up winning. around 60-65% of communication is done through body language. I believe this is why video calls haven’t replaced real meetings because you cant get the full grasp of a person unless sits in person. So again Statistics might help but they are not the full story in real life gambling.
Craps is a dice game which if you have never heard of you will probably have seen in movies and ting. It basically involves loads of betting and odds on a dice throw. On your first throw you want a 7 or an 11. The chances of this are 8/36 (28:8) which is pretty crap. But there are ways of improving this, setting the dice involves putting all the combinations of 7 an 11 on the outside of the dice before u throw them and if thrown properly will improve you chances by a fair way. then again you could scrap all the statistics and just use loaded dice but no one will be your friend any more.

So how can you save money?

  1. Firstly remember you body is against you.

G. Anderson,R. I. F. Brown (1984) There was greater heart rate in casinos than artificial gambling. Every time you Gamble that rush you feel is a mixture of adrenaline and dopamine. do this enough and your body will learn to crave it and before you know it you have an expensive addiction on your hands oops.

2.  If you are going to gamble use as much statistics as you can get you hands on. But don’t forger they are not the full story.

3. Ditch your conscience and cheat.

The house always wins.

home work for my TA

Posted: October 12, 2011 in Uncategorized

Ive commented on a comment on my own blog tooooo!

Is Reserach Affected by Funding?

Posted: October 11, 2011 in Uncategorized

In My first Blog, I talked about how a piece of research claiming that cheese actually give you good dreams,  was unfortunately funded by the geniuses at the  ‘British Cheese Board’.

I want to develop on this idea and find out if any other pieces of research may have been influenced bu their investors. It turns out they arn’t that hard to find.

  • The Sunday Times writes :

“Andrew Wakefield, the doctor who champions the alleged link between measles, mumps and rubella vaccine and autism in young children, stands discredited for misleading his medical colleagues and The Lancet, the professional journal that published his findings.

The investigation has found that when he warned parents to avoid MMR, and published research claiming a link with autism, he did not disclose he was being funded through solicitors seeking evidence to use against vaccine manufacturers.”

This one piece of research had a huge effect on the public decision on whether to have their children vaccinated. My mums a nurse and said she’d rather i was autistic than dead, so im pretty glad this all turned out to be a lie ;) thanks mum your the best.

  • The Telegraph says:

“Millions of NHS patients have been treated with controversial drugs on the basis of fraudulent research by one of the world’s leading anaesthetists.”

Joachim Boldt is under investigation for possibly botching 90 studies about drugs called colloids. He is said to have received funding from the leading Colloids company who manufacturer hydroxyethyl starch.

  •     What amazed me was coca cola waited a whole 5 paragraphs before talking about how happy drinking coke makes you. they started their own happiness institute in Spain! make sure u check this link it takes about 30seconds to read and you’ll see what I mean.

These are just some of the more well known example which the media has jumped on. but if this is happening at the levels of medical doctors, whats to say it doesn’t happen with psychology to? Surely, the clinical psychologists play a part in approving new antidepressants etc and the behavioral psychologist is new school programs. This kind of private funding could be influencing the world in a negative way and we wouldn’t even know about it.

    But how do we tackle this issue, do we make private funding illegal and rely completely on public funding?is that going to make things any better? how else can we fund research?

let me know what you think.