Sunday, January 1, 2017

Pokemon Go and physical activity

In honor of the New Year, a post about health. 

A team of researchers from Harvard made a brief video that describes their recent publication. The video includes discussion about their hypothesis generation, methodology, and research findings. 

Their research question: Does the game Pokemon Go actually improve the health of users?

How to use this video in your class:

-This is an easily understood research project to share with your RM students. It also goes into detail about the statistics used for analysis.

-And the researchers, from fancy-pants Harvard, aren't afraid of being a bit silly and having fun as researchers. As demonstrated by the below images from the video:

This guy. Seriously. I hope to some day love my data as much as he loves his data.

And they made graphs using Pokemon balls

-How do we get our research ideas? Sometimes, from observations about every day living. This research was inspired by the Pokemon Go phenomena. I try to convince my students that many research ideas are the result of genuine curiosity about the world, and I think this does a good job of illustrating it.

-One of the co-authors describes the methodology: How the recruited and chose participants, describe the regression model they used, factored out seasonal differences the could affect how much time people spend outside.

-It is a video.

-Accessible example of quasi-experimental methods to create an a control group and an experimental group.

-You could use this video as the Cliff Notes to accompany the actual research paper. For students who are new to reading source material, this might be a soft step into navigating publications.

-Could be good for human factors or health psychology classes in addition to stats/RM.