Tag Archives: data

Types of Statistical Validity: What You’re Measuring and How to Do It

Types of Statistical Validity- What TheyStatistical validity is one of those things that is vitally important in conducting and consuming social science research, but less than riveting to learn about. It doesn’t help that people use the term “validated” very loosely. In a health coaching context, I hear mention of “validated instruments” and “validated outcomes” without a consistent meaning behind the terms.

In fact, there are lots of types of validity, and depending on what you want to do with your data, you may need to establish validity in several different ways. Saying a measure is valid at a high level means that statistically, it’s measuring what it’s supposed to measure in a stable, meaningful way. Continue reading Types of Statistical Validity: What You’re Measuring and How to Do It

Disclosing Personal Information? It May Be Less Embarrassing To Tell It To a Computer Than a Doctor

That's personal!Most of the data I work with is self-report, provided by a user to a database via a device like a computer or a mobile phone. No live counselor or coach processes that information before it’s crunched in the database and appropriate content selected for the user to read.

There are drawbacks to this method to be sure. We don’t have the luxury of interpreting non-verbal cues like facial expression or tone of voice that could give nuance to a user’s words. We can’t be as sensitive about follow-up questions as we would be in a live conversation, since any follow-ups and their associated skip logic are pre-written. And we don’t allow users an opportunity to add color commentary, which leads to occasional frustrated feedback from users who really want to explain their specific circumstances related to their health.

One drawback this type of data does not have as much as people might expect though, is veracity. Surprisingly, when talking to the computer, users don’t lie. Continue reading Disclosing Personal Information? It May Be Less Embarrassing To Tell It To a Computer Than a Doctor

Marrying Health and Consumer Data: Insightful or Invasive?

amybucherphd.com (1)Would you change your behavior if you knew your doctor could keep tabs on you?

Would you pause before putting the chocolate or the chips in your grocery cart? Before forking over your credit card for a pack of cigarettes? What if your doctor could tell how often your gym membership card was swiped for entry? Would you go more often?

And whether you behaved differently or not, how would you feel about your doctor knowing about your consumer habits?  Continue reading Marrying Health and Consumer Data: Insightful or Invasive?

Big Brother’s in Your Pocket!

OK, I chose the post title just to be alarmist. I don’t really think that wearable and integrated trackers (for example, to count your daily steps) rise to the level of Big Brother. At least, not yet.

I recently posted an entry on Wired Innovation Insights about wearable vs. integrated trackers:

http://insights.wired.com/profiles/blogs/who-will-opt-for-integrated-tracking-over-a-wearable-the#axzz32IYbekM5

There’s been buzz lately with more device-based trackers like Move and Runkeeper’s Breeze that the wearable might be Continue reading Big Brother’s in Your Pocket!

The Power of Goals and Progress Tracking

After the Boston Marathon on Monday, the New York Times has a thought provoking analysis of marathon finish times. Theoretically, marathon finish times should be relatively evenly distributed around a mean. In particular, there’s no real reason why, say, a 3:29 finish should be more common than a 3:31. But it is.

Distribution of marathon finishing times courtesy of the New York Times, 4/22/14, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/23/upshot/what-good-marathons-and-bad-investments-have-in-common.html
Distribution of marathon finishing times courtesy of the New York Times, 4/22/14, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/23/upshot/what-good-marathons-and-bad-investments-have-in-common.html

I don’t think this clustering is really that weird. I think it’s a natural function of our common need for competence, and the way we use benchmarks and progress tracking to achieve goals. Continue reading The Power of Goals and Progress Tracking