Sunday, March 4, 2012

Two Scoops of Raisins...

I have a hilarious professor for a Research Methods course this quarter. She’s a little eccentric, which becomes clear with the following story:

For no reason, other than her own curiosity, Dr. Skinner (no relation to B. F.), decided to test the Kellogg’s claim that every box of Raisin Bran contains two scoops. Actually, based on her information, the cereal purported to have 134 raisins in every box.

So, Dr. Skinner purchased 25 boxes and literally counted out the raisins in every box. Yes, she really did that. Her tally came up with an average of 132.5 raisins in each of her boxes.

After that she ran all sorts of technical data analysis based on that number, to see whether the difference was significant or not. Basically I can tell you by eye-balling the numbers that it isn’t a significant difference, but statisticians are nothing if not thorough.

The class is pretty challenging so a little light-hearted presentation of her Raisin Bran research definitely gave us a break from the monotony of learning about confidence intervals, the Bonferronni technique and other things I barely understand!