Monday, September 3, 2012

I Am Science-y

In case you don't think this blog delves into human experimentation enough, I'm happy to report that I recently conducted a study. I don't think I have many readers who come here for my science, but just in case, I'll write up my findings in an official way:

Teri's Human Study #4,313 
(I am constantly involving my children, and people I see at the grocery store, in my human studies. So I have quite a bit of experience. I just don't have time to write down all my results but I'm guessing I've done at least this many studies. If not more. For a complete, typewritten list of what I think I've studied scientifically, send me a self-addressed, stamped envelope, along with $45.00)

Question: In a blind taste test, using 13 human women, which of the following brands of coffee would be most popular: Folger's? Peet's? Mystic Monk? or Dunkin Donuts?

Materials: 13 human women; 4 coffee makers; 4 brands of coffee; 52 cups; a Sharpie, writing utensils, and scoring sheets.

Procedure: Cups are labeled A, B,C, or D. A secret list is held by me, the study facilitator, which reveals which brand of coffee is designated by which letter of the alphabet. Coffee is brewed, poured, and sampled. Findings are written on sheets of paper in order of preference.

Disclosure of Errors: The coffee makers kept overloading the circuits in our laboratory, thus shutting down the power and stopping the brewing of the coffee. It was annoying. Also, I did a poor job of grinding one brand of coffee, essentially ruining it's quality and producing a coffee drink similar in taste to sewage. And not even good sewage.

Hypothesis: Subjects will like the most expensive brand. Or maybe the cheapest one.

Results: Dunkin Donuts received more votes for "favorite" than any of the other brands. Mystic Monk was least favorite. This was the brand that I messed up with poor grinding skills, though, so it should be stated that Folger's was the next least favorite. ("Next least?" Is that how a real scientist talks?) Ten of the thirteen subjects are daily coffee drinkers. One admitted to drinking an entire pot a day by herself. I will say she's a chipper type, and now I know why. Keurigs are popular. So is Splenda (these facts were revealed in the data that each subject provided). All 13 subjects wrote legibly and one used a green pen. One shared that she gets coffee free from hotels and now I'm curious how often she stays at hotels. And why. And what brand of coffee do hotels most often serve? This is a study for someone else, I haven't the time.

I participated in the study, and it should be noted that my husband insists on buying a brand that I rated #3, followed only by the sewage-flavored brand.

Conclusion: Subjects liked the mid-priced brand. And our laboratory needs some electrical work. And coffee is better with cream and sugar or fake sugar. And next time we should do wine-tasting. In the name of science, I mean.

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