Showing posts from October, 2012

The 4 point Likert Scale

I have always grown up with the idea of a 5 point Likert scale. But recently in my Market Research class, our prof. introduced us to the concept of 4 point Likert scale.
Likert scale is a very popular rating scale used to determine a respondents' agreement level.
The following image shows an examples of a 5 point Likert scale:

Likert scales are odd numbered scales. Most commonly used is the 5 point scale, some researchers also use the 7 point scale. Now, at times there are situations when a respondent chooses the 'Neutral' option in a 5 point Likert scale. Researchers have started using a 4 point scale in which there is no neutral option. This is done in order to extract a specific response from the respondents.
For the scale shown in the pic above, a 4 point Likert scale will have the following options:
Strongly agree, agree, disagree, Strongly disagree

Are you left-handed?

Yesterday over lunch, my friend told me he is ambidextrous i.e. he can use both of his hands for writing. I was amazed at this and he told me that he used to write with his left hand when we was young and his parents forced him to write with his right hand. It does not matter really if someone is right handed or left handed. However, for a sportsman being left handed can be an added advantage. Let’s access how?

Research shows that 90% of the people are right handed are 10% are left handed. Assuming that the same holds true for sports in general as well. For sports like boxing, tennis, cricket, wrestling, badminton etc. where there is direct contact with the opponent or the mode of delivery has a significant impact; being left handed can really pay off. Practice is an essential part for any sportsperson. If one is left-handed, he/she will have most of the practices with right handed players (remember 10% left-handers). Thus the left-handers will be better equipped to face right-hander…

The fingerprint hidden in our words

Researchers have concluded that there exist certain patterns in the way we write. Presenting here a beautiful example: Back in 1788, there were a group of three writers who individually authored 85 papers on US constitutional reforms. Suppose the authors were A, B and C. Now, the papers did not have the names of the authors. It was a popular belief that 51 of the papers were authored by A, 14 by B and 5 by C. This still left 15 papers unaccounted for.

Now, it was to be found who wrote the disputed papers. Various linguistics were asked for help. But since the papers were on varied topics and the writing styles were not very disparate, there was no definitive outcome. Now, arithmetic was tried to solve the riddle. The average length of the sentences was tried out, but the average varied from paper to paper. There was no definitive trend which could separate the authors. The use of various words like ‘while’ and ‘whilst’ was tried, that could not help as well.

Summation of ‘n’ natural numbers

We all know what is the formula of the summation of ‘n’ natural numbers? Ask even a kid and he will promptly reply: n(n+1)/2 But have we ever wondered how the formula is drawn? How the formula did come into existence? In our school days (if taught), we were taught the summation method to deduce the formula of the summation of ‘n’ natural numbers. ΣK^2 = Σ(K+1)^2 – (n+1)^2; summation from k=0 to n. If we expand this equation, we will get the required formula; but this not how the original formula was deduced.
When the great genius, Gauss was a child in the era of 1780’s, he found the formula. His teacher gave the class a sum to find the sum of first 100 natural numbers. The exercise was given to engage the class for some time. But the genius of Gauss was at work and he solved the problem in no time. He found an interesting phenomenon.