Tuesday, August 13, 2013

STATS: Color-coded Cohorts (Issue 2 of Many) #hashtag

The Hatfield and the McCoys. The Capulets and the Montagues. The Israelis and the Palestinians. The Blue Cohort and the Maize Cohort. Two distinct rivals.

As I was working on the survey, I was excited to see what differences would emerge between the two cohorts. The differences between the STEM and Humanities group were kind of predictable. Those groups were designed around common interests manifested in different undergraduate majors. Now, the color-coded cohorts were supposed to be carefully crafted to be coequal. There is no reason for the two groups to do be different.

In fact, the two groups aren't all that different. There were twenty-five total questions, of which the first four were demographics. Of the remaining 21 'preference' questions, both cohorts agree on all but three. So which three were different?

The Cornhort prefers country music to rap music; that is the opposite of ironic. While the Maize cohort is jamming out to "22", the Blue Cohort will be working on "99 Problems". While the musical tastes of the two cohorts might vary, it is a small detail. By a wide margin, both groups preferred to relax with a good book rather than by listening to music. So perhaps in the next round of questioning, we will ask about each other's favorite genre of literature.

When it comes to games, the Blue group would rather strategize during a chess match, while the Maize group prefers the simplicity of checkers. Both Cohorts would rather win the lottery than experience the joy of victory on Jeopardy. So while we both might like a little bit of competition, we prefer to win (even if winning is independent of our skills).

Regarding evaluations, the Blue cohort has problems with writer's block; 58% would rather take an exam. By a similar margin, 64% of the Maize cohort would rather write a paper. There is something both groups would prefer to writing some papers. Almost three-quarters of us (73%) would rather get punched in the the face than write the paper for EDUC 649 again.

Both groups would rather work in CTools than M+Box. Both groups would rather take a walk than take a nap. By a small margin, both groups think dinosaurs are more interesting than racism. By a wide margin, both groups like dogs more than cats. Both groups would rather stay up late drinking 'ginger ales' rather than waking up early for dance lessons. There is more that unites us than divides us. We might have different inside jokes ("The Captain of my Ship" vs. "Dr. Cohen on Red bull"), but it turns out that the difference between maize and blue is rather small. We are all dolphilians at heart.


  1. This brought a tear of joy to my eye. Dolphilians to the end! (Dolphileons? I do kind of like that our spelling is its own special adaptation of the natural smush though. And you, as the artist, should get the privilege of choosing the spelling!)

  2. Dolphilians is the spelling that got picked up by the T-shirt maker. It is what I search for in my Gmail account, so that is the spelling I'm sticking with for right now.

  3. Keep doing the good work, Nick. It's clear, more research is needed.