Categories
Design

Population Issues

Introduction

In 1998, the UN estimated that the World’s population would reach 6 billion by 1999. (UN Report, 1998). the report also concluded that as the life expectancy of people is rising, the threat of over-population is real. The statistical prediction assumed that half of the population by 2006 would be urban, and this growth puts extra pressure on the Planet. The population of the planet reached 7 billion in 2011, and the current predictions, according to the report created by the Royal Society (2012) indicated that the growth will continue to be substantial. By 2050 the projected population would reach 8-11 billion.

Categories
Marketing

Zara

The brand name Zara was created by a Spanish magnate named Amancio Ortega Gaona as part of the Inditex Group, one of the biggest retailers in the world of fashion. A crucial element in Zara’s business system is the store organization, serving a two-fold purpose: (1) customers can comfortably discover fashion concepts and, (2) the company can acquire information relating to customer preferences. Zara also has a strong commitment and focus on its customer base along with a flexible structure.

Categories
Management

Quasi-Experimental Designs

  1. Jackson (2012), even-numbered chapter exercises, p 360.
  2. Based on the question stimulus, I would recommend that the psychology professor use: a time series non-equivalent control group design. One could also recommend a pretest/posttest comparison; however, due to the accretive nature of the learning process, it might be more useful to see how students test over time in order to see if the change in testing is a profitable idea.
  3. There are numerous confounds that might impugn the results such as attrition and a nonequivalent baseline group.
  4. There are three reasons why a single case design might be selected:
  5. a) The researcher wants to identify a potential hypothesis, but wants to try it out before acquire funding for a larger group of participants;
  6. b) The researcher only wants information on the individual(s) selected for research.
  7. c) The researcher may want to avoid unpleasant ethical problems with selecting a potential helpful treatment for one group, while giving nothing to the other group
  8. A multiple baseline differs the intervention over different time frames and behaviors- thus it is able to deal with confounders through delivering it via multiple baselines. This is often times an improvement on the limitations of a single case design.

 

  1. Describe the advantages and disadvantages of quasi-experiments? What is the fundamental weakness of a quasi-experimental design? Why is it a weakness? Does its weakness always matter?

The main advantages of a quasi-experiment are that it is more generalizable and easier to conduct than a strict experiment.  Another way to say this is: A quasi-experimental design exchanges problem related to external validity for problems related to internal validity.  Although results from an experiment may be internally valid between the independent and dependent variable, they often times fail to translate to other situations due to restrictions.  Quasi-experimental results, on the other hand, may lack a robust internal validity relationship- however, they are often times transferrable to other situations.

The fundamental weakness of a quasi-experiment is the inability to infer causality from results.  As the textbook explains, the quasi-experimental design sits between correlation studies and experimental studies on the causal explanatory line.  That is, while a quasi-experimental study provides more causal evidence than a correlation coefficient between two variables, because it relies on observational data that lacks an experimental intervention and randomization, there may numerous confounders explaining the results between variables.

  1. If you randomly assign participants to groups, can you assume the groups are equivalent at the beginning of the study? At the end? Why or why not? If you cannot assume equivalence at either end, what can you do? Please explain.

If participants are randomly assigned to a group at the beginning of an experiment, this does not necessarily mean that the groups are completely “equivalent.”  Randomization at the beginning of an experiment protects against differences due to systematic differences between the groups; however, differences in the group may still exist due to chance. At the end, randomization is still technically protective against systematic differences in the population; however, this protection may be impugned if the randomization is broken by attrition: if individuals drop out of the experiment, one cannot be assured the differences between groups were due to chance. If the individuals drop out randomly (that is, not due to observed variables), attrition does not affect results; however, if the attrition is due to the treatment (or unobserved variables), the groups are no longer equivalent.

Although complete (random) equivalence cannot be assumed at either end, statistical correction methods can be used to help narrow the gap.

  1. Explain and give examples of how the particular outcomes of a study can suggest if a particular threat is likely to have been present.

The threats related to outcomes of a study are essentially a function of study design.  For example, a one-group post-test design will have numerous threats to the outcomes of the study design, regardless of the question being asked: history, maturation, etc. While some of those threats will be obviated by introducing a pre-test post-test design, or through introduction of a control group- they will still exist.

  1. Describe each of the following types of designs, explain its logic, and why the design does or does not address the selection threats discussed in Chapter 7 of Trochim and Donnelly (2006):
  2. Non-equivalent control group pretest only- a non-equivalent control group pretest only would be marginally better than say a research design that featured a single group with a post-test design. This is because: The control group pretest would allow the researcher to assess the treatment group’s baseline- at the least, this design would take out threats such :
  • History- does not address history- only a pre-test will not pick up an event that influenced both groups over the experiement’s duration.
  • Maturation- Without a post-test for the control group, it will not be possible to understand if both groups matured for reasons not related to the intervention.
  • Testing- would help with testing bias as only one group takes the test twice.
  • Instrumentation and mortality- would not address these threats.
  • Regression to the mean- would not address this
  1. Non-equivalent control group pretest/posttest
  • History- would address history because the pre- and post-test in the control group would allow the researcher to strip out the differences due to history in groups.
  • Maturation- would address maturation because pre- and post-test in control group would allow research to strip out differences.
  • Testing- would not address testing since both groups are testing twice.
  • Instrumentation and mortality- would address these threats.
  • Regression to the mean- would address this because the control group scores could be used to calibrate variance.
    Cross-sectional
  • A cross-sectional design is less optimal, at least compared to a longitudinal design that compares respondents over time.
    Regression-Discontinuity
  • Regression discontinuity designs are used when cutoffs are needed for a quasi-experimental design. The regression discontinuity design offers the benefits of having  properties of randomization, without the need to actually undertake an experimental analysis.
  1. Why are quasi-experimental designs used more often than experimental designs?

Quasi-experimental designs are used more often than experimental designs for a number of reasons.  First, they are typically much cheaper than experimental designs: while conducting experiments is quite expensive, observational data is relatively cheap. Second, there are fewer ethical restrictions with quasi-experimental studies.  Third, quasi-experimental studies are more generalizable than experimental studies.

  1. One conclusion you might reach (hint) after completing the readings for this assignment is that there are no bad designs, only bad design choices (and implementations). State a research question for which a single-group post-test only design can yield relatively unambiguous findings.

One potential research question would be: how does the use of a computer program assist the learning of spelling words in an elementary class?

Part II
1. What research question(s) does the study address?

The study’s primary research question is: what is the impact of television advertising on the consumer preferences of children (arguably via the proxy of parent purchases)?
2. What is Goldberg�s rationale for the study? Was the study designed to contribute to theory? Do the results of the study contribute to theory? For both questions: If so, how? If not, why not?

One of Goldberg’s main rationales is to understand the “true” impact of television advertising with differing results from experimental and quasi-experimental results.  Experimental results on the topic of television advertising’s impact find a robust relationship between advertising and its impact on children’s putative preferences; quasi-experimental studies, however, find a less robust relationship.  Thus, Goldberg hopes that studying a “natural experiment”, whereby English speakers in Quebec are exposed to advertisement vis US television and French speakers have no exposure, will help reconcile the dissonant results.

  1. What constructs does the study address? How are they operationalized?

There are three main constructs addressed in the study:

  • Television watching, particularly focused on exposure to commercial time. This was addressed via a survey to children and their watching habits.
  • The second main construct was impact on children’s consumer preferences via adult purchasing- this construct was operationalized via two variables: 1) toy awareness- to what extent children were able to recognize toys advertised on TV; 2) cereals purchased- assessing to what extent cereals purchased were similar to those advertised.
  • The third main construct was culture: culture was operationalized through language.
  1. What are the independent and dependent variables in the study?

Because the researchers used two designs (a between group and within group design); there were different independent and dependent variables selected for the different analyses.

Between-group independent- The child’s cultural affiliation was the independent variable for the between group analysis.  This is because if the cultural affiliation is the same for the two groups, the difference between groups is (potentially) due to television advertising.

Within-group independent- The child’s exposure to American children’s commercial television (ACTV) served as the independent variable for this analysis.

Dependent variables:  The study had two dependent variables that were used for both between-group and within group analysis:

1) toy awareness (to what extent children were aware of different toys); 2) mean number of children’s cereal purchased.

  1. Name the type of design the researchers used.

The researchers used a quasi-experimental design, focused on survey design.

  1. What internal and external validity threats did the researchers address in their design? How did they address them? Are there threats they did not address? If so how does the failure to address the threats affect the researchers� interpretations of their findings? Are Goldberg�s conclusions convincing? Why or why not?

Goldberg identifies a number of important threats that he tries to address.

The first threat to internal validity of his analysis: the confounding factor of culture.  That is, Goldberg is trying to measure the differing impact of television commercial exposure on toy awareness and brand name cereal purchases. In order for his “natural experiment” to work, however, he needs to confirm that the differences in results are truly a function of exposure to independent variable rather than individuals placed in the wrong group.

The author also employed the between group and within group analysis to correct for potential differences between groups.

Sources:

Goldberg, N. (1990). A quasi-experiment assessing the effectiveness of TV advertising directed to children. Journal of Marketing Research, 27, 445-54.

Jackson, S. (2012): Chapter 13
Trochim W. M. K., & Donnelly, J. P. (2008): Chapters 7, 10, and Pages 308-330

Social Research Methods.  Available at: socialresearchmethods.net.

 

Categories
Biology

Intelligent Design

Introduction

Intelligent design is a theory which is in direct opposition to evolution, whereby all living things did not necessarily evolve, but were the product of an advanced design that enabled them to form almost perfectly (Miller). According to this theory, “the combination of nerves, sensory cells, muscles, and lens tissue in the eye could only have been “designed” from scratch” (Miller). In this context, intelligent design is a combination of elements which come together to form a perfect union in a living thing (Miller).

Categories
Design

Character versus Action

Introduction

People have dissimilar ways of rating politicians. Some believe that an individual’s character is significant because it tells a lot about the actions of an individual. In addition, some have thought that character does not determine one’s actions. Their actions depend on their willpower and not character. There are various theories that describe various aspects of the human character. The analysis of character versus action reveals Kant’s view on human actions and the principles of a utilitarian.

Categories
English

Developing an Idea into a Marketable Business Plan

Every day, ideas come and go, some great, others poor. However, there are some ideas that are worthy of being considered for expansion and introduction to the masses. A truly great idea may be dormant in one’s brain for a long period of time, but perhaps it evolves into something more meaningful and perhaps profitable. It is the responsibility of the idea’s owner to determine if it is worth sharing with others and even transformed into a real business opportunity in the future. However, a good idea cannot stay latent forever. It must be shared with others as a means of determining its value to the general public. Others might have the knowledge, expertise, and business sense to turn a small idea into a big reality.

Categories
Design

Ethical Dilemma

During a semester in the first year of college, I set a goal to achieve perfect grades. I was doing well in every class except one in which the final exam was going to decide whether I get an A or B grade. The final exam for the course was a take home exam but the instructor strictly advised us to do the exam on our own and not collaborate with anyone. One of the questions in the take home exam was giving me a hard time and I wanted to seek the help of a friend who had taken the course before.

Categories
Design

Fashion Marketing and Consumer Behavior

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to examine the different factors of the ever changing market, which may affect the launching of my product line. With research and editorial support, this paper will discuss the different aspects of my marketing strategy that is outlined to compensate with the use of cutting edge technology to stand out in today’s market

Categories
Design

Application to Fashion

Art and design have always seemed to come naturally to me. As a child I excelled in musical study  completing Grade 8 piano with distinction. In my spare time, I studied flute and  organ, as well as intermediate ballet and modern dance. The various areas of art and expression, for me, are linked by common characteristics of harmony, discipline, and meaning. I began painting as a hobby and went on to great success, earning twenty prizes and medals for my art, as well as obtaining distinction in  international on-site painting competitions in Europe. One of my best opportunities came from these competitions; I was chosen to teach art in museums in Russia and Portugal. Also, my paintings were sold via charity auction through the Lifeline Express Foundation in Hong Kong. Afterwards, I took up the job of project planner of the Chinese Foundation for Lifeline Express.

For me, fashion design is a crucial component of life. My circumstances do not permit me to presently have access to textile or design classes, but despite this fact, I’ve completed one to two garments per week during my holiday periods and I’m regularly attending basic sewing classes in Hong Kong. my experiences with other art forms such as painting and music help me to understand the fundamentals of design and expression. I feel that having an opportunity to formally study design would enable me to excel in fashion design and would result in developing my technique and voice in a way that is both personally meaningful to me and artistically important and fresh.

My work is design and in art reflects my overall dedication and pride in all that I undertake, including academic subjects such as Mathematics, Chemistry, Economics, and Extended Project Qualifications. Above all, I prize immersion in the arts:  design, music, dance. No matter how many projects or studies I take on simultaneously, I feel no trace of fatigue or stress. Working in the arts infuses me with adrenaline and inspiration. It has taken me a long time to understand that being an artist is much more than a dedication to skills and design, but it is an expression of personhood.  For me design and the fine arts represent the answer to the most central question in life: Who would I want see when I look into the mirror? Right now is the time that I begin creating my own destiny by fulfilling the promise an aptitude that has been indicated by my early career.

Categories
Design

Cover Letter for Interior Designer

Dear Sir/ Madam,

 

I recently discovered your job-listing for an interior designer and I’m writing this letter to you because I’m very excited about the prospect of applying for the position. My years of training and expertise in the field have put me in a position to offer my talent and experience to employers who are searching for designers with a fresh outlook and a unique capacity to exceed expectations and deliver consistent, superlative work.

 

As a graduate from Villa Maria College I’ve attained a BFA in interior design. I also attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and Niagra University where I studied theater. My academic accomplishments indicate the dedication I’ve maintained to honing and mastering my skills. I’ve also worked from 2011 to 2012 as an intern for Holly Hunt Design, Amy Lau Design and Pierre Frey in New York. Prior to holding these positions, I was the co-founder of Decades Inc. in Los Angeles where I specialized in American and European couture fashions, accessories, and furs.

 

One of the most important aspects of my personal character is my dedication to tasks and my loyalty to both my clients and my employers. When serving in any capacity as a team-member or as an individual designer I maintain a strong sense of responsibility. I also recognize the importance of listening to directions and suggestions and integrating the needs and desires of my employers and clients into all of my projects. In fact, I am passionate about interior design and the crucial role that it plays in both private adn professional environments.

 

My determination to succeed and my dedication to innovation and responsibility make me an excellent candidate for this position. I would very much like to meet with you for a personal interview at your earliest convenience. I am confident that our first meeting will assure you of my capabilities and professional qualities.

 

Thank you very much for your time and consideration . I look forward to meeting you.

 

Yours sincerely,

Your Name

 

Subject: Application for position as interior decorator.

Reference: Where you heard about the job.