Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Research Methods, Statistics, and Guitar Hero

There's beauty in research design and statistics. That is, you can apply these tools to just about anything,* including plastic bags! Going back down memory lane for a moment, it all started with me asking the question of how to make a statistic (i.e., the US consumes 380 billion plastic bags each year) personally meaningful. And as many of you know, asking that question launched me into an eight-month long project, which culminated into BagFest last year.

Good times, good times!

And now I'm reminded of the fun in applying research methods and statistics to a real-world problem. But this time, instead of me asking a question, it's from one of my students: How can we convince Dr. Verges to host a Guitar-Hero experiment in our statistics class?

Brilliant question!

* You cannot however, apply these tools of empiricism to faith-based questions or to other questions that delve into a phantasmal world.

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