17
Aug 05

Shift In Experimental Variable Does Not Change Result

Proven By SciencePost a comment • 426 views

Often in science, there are baseline variables that come with the scenario that people do not consider changing. For example it is taken as read that the glassware used un test tubes is inert to the experiment going on and contributes nothing but containing. But containing is very important, the alternative may be having potassium permanganate stains all over your hands and looking like a stupid armoured car robber.

The same is the case with pseudo-social experiments. Consider this very simple experiment:

EXPERIMENT TO TEST HOW LONG IT TAKES FOR TEENAGERS TO ANNOY YOU ON THE BUS WHEN RUNNING THROUGH THE VARIOUS RINGTONES ON THEIR PHONE

Skipping the method, diagram (never was that good at drawing zits or hoodies) and results, the conclusion we should agree on: ABOUT THREE SECONDS.

However there are a number of baseline variables here which we may not have considered changing. So let us examine these, with suggested conclusions:
How important is the bus? Not very, though the enclosed space stops us walking away.
How important is the make of phone? Not at all. All the phone needs is two separate tunes to hit the 3 seconds.
How important is the presence of the phone? Very. Teenagers can be annoying anyway, but removing the phone will cause them to be creative with shouting, chips and potentially knives.

However one variable I though would be important, turned out not to be at all as I discovered this morning.
How important is the fact they are teenagers? Before today I would have suggested that this would be very important. However on the way to work today I came across two people in their sixties, scrolling through the various tunes on their new phones with glee. 3 seconds was all it too for these grey panthers to be fucking annoying. And they really, really did not need to play the Nokia tune TWICE

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