April 05, 2010

Dr Who?

A few changes:

  1. A helper who's short skirt is scaring conservatives
  2. A young 'sexy' doctor who apparantly detracts from the plot
  3. New title music
  4. Nuanced interpretation of the academic Dr character
  5. Bow tie...

But many of the same things:

  1. Wacky academic character - english and aloof but always in 'the know'
  2. Brilliant music - a few tearjerkers in the style of the minimalists
  3. The Dr and companion dynamics - unrequited love and tension, despite the cliche

Overall: Plays up to expectations and offers a tantalising look at what we can expect. Not enough to form any firm conclusions.


Tools for experiments

Psychology experiments are increasingly online. The work of Parcducci - a central focus of my work - has an online application. Several decision making tasks are also online.

Online experiments have several benifits and problems. Major benifits are easy access from anywhere in the world and data storage in one location. For example, students in china may take part in an experiment with the experimenter in England having immediate access to the data. What economists call 'the economies of scale' can have a serious impact on the validity of the findings by producing greater generalisation. However, this approach is problematic - we cannot control the enviroment and data flow.

We can solve these issues. How might we increase the amount of enviromental control or the provide a more powerful framework for experiments? Only by teamwork. Yet few people examine this. Why, when a tool (for example rcommander) can provide so much benifit for so many?

Just a thought. We need to pool resources. Unlike our predecessors, we live in an age where great tools can be replicated at no cost. The economics of scale can allow us to reap large harvests for minimal comparative input.


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