Monday, July 25, 2016

Wilson's "America’s Mood Map: An Interactive Guide to the United States of Attitude"

Here is a great example of a several different topics, featuring an engaging, interactive map created by Time magazine AND using data from a Journal of Personality and Social Psychology article.

Essentially, the authors of the original article gave the Big Five personality scale to folks all over the US. They broke down the results by state. Then Time created an interactive map of the US in order to display the data.

How to use in class:

Monday, July 18, 2016

Data USA

Data USA draws upon various federal data sources in order to generate visualizations about cities and occupations in the US. And it provides lots of good examples of simple, descriptive statistics and data visualizations.

This website is highly interactive and you can query information about any municipality in the US. This creates relevant, customized examples for your class. You can present examples of descriptive statistics using the town or city in which your college/university/high school is located or you could encourage students to look up their own hometowns. Data provided includes job trends, crime, health care, commuting times, car ownership short, all sorts of data.

Below I have included some screen shots for data about Erie, PA, home of Gannon University:

The background photo here is from the Presque Isle, a very popular state park in Erie, PA. And, look, medians!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Quealy & Sanger-Katz's "Is Sushi ‘Healthy’? What About Granola? Where Americans and Nutritionists Disagree"

This article from the NYT is based upon a survey. That survey asked a bunch of nutritionists if they considered certain foods healthy. Then they asked a bunch of every day folk if they considered the same foods to be healthy.

Then they generated the percentage of each group that considered the food healthy. And the NYT put the nutritionist responses on a Y-axis, and commoners on the X, and made a lovely scatterplot...

Nutritionists and non-nutritionists agree that chocolate chip cookies are not healthy. However, nutritionists are far more critical of American cheese than are non-nutritionists. 

...and provided us with the raw data as well.

The article mostly highlights the foods where there is a large discrepancy of opinion between the two groups (see above).

There are many teachable moments in this article:

-Correlation. Obvs.
-Inter-rater reliability. Kind of. It is high when nutritionists and non-nutritionists agree, low when they don't. When there is low reliability, the food becomes an outlier (so talk about outliers/influential observations).
-Lots of descriptive data is presented.
-If you wanted, you could conduct a paired t-test on this data. Compare nutritionist data to lay person data. This data is available in separate tables accompanying the story.
-While you are at it, run the correlation and generate the regression line.
-Discuss real life application of this data. What are the commonalities for food that lay people ID as unhealthy that actually are healthy? And vice-versa? How can the government concentrate on suggesting healthy, confusing food to lay people?