Instructor: David Schuff, Section 001

Weekly Question #1: Complete by January 21, 2016

Leave your response as a comment on this post by the beginning of class on January 21, 2016. Remember, it only needs to be three or four sentences. For these weekly questions, I’m mainly interested in your opinions, not so much particular “facts” from the class!

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Here is the question:

“Conventional wisdom” are statements people generally accept as true but are never really tested. One example is the belief that a company should avoid hiring people with criminal records. These can be supported or disproven through data – i.e., Evolv’s discovery that people with criminal records are up to 1.5% more productive than the average worker.

Give an example of a piece of conventional wisdom you’ve heard and explain what data you would collect to test it.

59 Responses to Weekly Question #1: Complete by January 21, 2016

  • One piece of conventional wisdom is when deciding on a restaurant or food truck to try it is recommended to go where the crowds or long lines are. In order to test this, at least two types of data would need to be collected. A count of customers at popular and unpopular eating establishments at different time periods throughout the day (peak and non-peak hours) would be required. Additionally, we would want to cross-reference this data with yelp scores, zagat ratings, and other valued criticisms in order to conclude whether or not crowds form at better restaurants or food trucks.

  • A piece of conventional wisdom that I have received is that “If you get good grades, you will get a job.” The type of data that I would collect to test this phrase, would be data from the CSPD office on graduating seniors job placement. I would look at this data and see whether or not graduating seniors with good grades received more job offers over seniors with different circumstances (more internship experience, more involved in SPOs, etc.). This data could allow me to see whether or not this phrase can be proven or disproven.

  • One piece of conventional wisdom is that women are worse drivers than men. The data that you would need to be able to test this would be total number of accidents by each gender. You could ask 50 men and 50 women how many accidents they have had in their lifetime. This data can allow one to conclude which gender is a better driver depending on the amount of accidents each have been in.

  • A piece of conventional wisdom I’ve heard is that when applying for a job interview, make sure that your resume consists of keywords that match the criteria that the company is looking for in a potential employee (i.e. “detail oriented”, “costumer service”, “people skill”, etc.) so that you are more likely to be picked for the job interview. A way to test if this is true is to compare the resume’s of those who did and did not get chosen for the interview to the job description/criteria and see if there are more matching keywords between the criteria and the resumes of those who were selected for the interview.

  • One piece of conventional wisdom is that students who attend class more frequently will receive a higher letter grade at the end of the semester than students who attend class less frequently. I myself believe this to be true, however in order to test it, I would need to get attendance sheets from a teacher (or multiple teachers) and the final letter grades for each student in the class(es). I would then compare the number of classes attended by each student with the letter grades of each student to find out if attending class will usually result in a higher final letter grade.

  • We all are going to college to make an investment in our human capital and. It’s quite obvious that the more effort you put into studying, the more opportunities you will get in your future career. This is because employers (or most population) generally accept the conventional wisdom that people who has higher education tends to be smarter than the people who don’t. But does it really affect your smartness, or to be precise, IQ? In order to test this, there should definitely be a large amount of sample, around 1000-10000 individuals. The individuals then would be asked for the education background, this would be our information No.1 . And of course our information No.2 should be determine by IQ tests. Finally, by putting information No.1 and information No.2 on a line chart, the result would come up whether or not education and IQ aligns.

  • A piece of conventional wisdom I’ve heard is “You get what you pay for.” An example of this is often related to the purchase of stocks, where a greater-valued stock such as Google is regarded as unquestionably worth its high price. To test to see if this is true, I would collect data of the purchase of stocks and evaluate it to see if higher-price stocks generally yield a greater return than lower-price stocks. Data of numerous stocks on both ends would have to be recorded as outliers will probably exist.

  • I would test the conventional wisdom that “opposites attract.” One way to test this would be to use data from a popular dating site (e.g. match.com). Data points such as education level, interests, political views, etc. could be compared for similarities and differences in couples who agreed to go on a date after meeting on the site. I suspect that on average opposites do not attract and that people are more likely to select partners that are similar to themselves.

  • A piece of conventional wisdom that I have come across is that men normally marry women who are similar to that of their moms, and women tend to marry men similar to that of their fathers. Data I could use to see if this is true is to have a group of people take a personality test and compare the tests taken by moms and by wives, and see how similar they are. I would do the same for fathers and husbands and then compare each individual statistic to the sample group. Then I would block for gender and see if women married men more similar to their fathers, compared to men who married women compared to their mothers.

  • An example of conventional data is that “the early bird gets the worm”. It is believed people who wake up earlier are more accomplished with their days than those who sleep in. This can be tested through collecting data from those who wake up early and from those who sleep in and the tasks that they accomplish throughout the day. The person who gets more done rather than procrastinates more will be the “one who gets the worm”.

  • When I got my driver’s license in high school, I was bombarded with the conventional wisdom that young people drive too fast. I’m sure that there is a positive correlation with younger people and speeding tickets, but to what extent I don’t know. To find out, I would (if possible) get records for all speeding violations in the United States, and make a chart that correlates tickets given to age of offender.

  • One piece of conventional wisdom I’ve heard is that STEM majors are “smarter” than art/music/ or liberal arts majors. It is generally assumed that if you like math and science and/or do well in those subjects, that you are smarter than other students don’t excel in those areas. However, doing well in a few subjects doesn’t necessarily mean those students are smarter than people who who don’t like or take interest in those subjects. To test this, I would look at STEM majors’ and art/music and liberal arts majors’ over all academic performance and compare their grades. Coursework in college can be different, depending on one’s major, so I would take the grades from their gened courses and high school grades to see if STEM majors had better academic performance than art/music and liberal arts majors. The term “smart” is a very relative term, but academic performance is usually a pretty decent indicator of someone’s intelligence, so that’ why I would compare high school transcripts and gened course grades of STEM majors to that of art, music, and liberal arts majors. Testing students of both majors on common knowledge might draw a better conclusion as well.

  • One piece of conventional wisdom I’ve heard is that STEM majors are “smarter” than art, music, and liberal arts majors. It is generally assumed that if you like math and science and/or do well in those subjects, that you are smarter than other students who don’t excel in those areas. However, doing well in a few subjects doesn’t necessarily mean those students are smarter than people who don’t like or take interest in those subjects. To test this, I would look at STEM majors’ and art, music, and liberal arts majors’ over all academic performance and compare their grades. Coursework in college can be different for everyone, depending on their major, so I would take the grades from their gened courses and high school grades to see if STEM majors had better academic performance than art, music, and liberal arts majors. The term “smart” is a very relative term, but academic performance is usually a pretty decent indicator of someone’s intelligence, so that’s why I would compare high school transcripts and gened course grades of STEM majors to that of art, music, and liberal arts majors. Testing students of both majors on common knowledge might draw a good conclusion as well.

  • A piece of conventional wisdom is that restaurants who have higher ratings on sites like Yelp or Travelocity have tastier food than restaurants who don’t. One way to test this is to have a focus group have a blind taste test dishes from different restaurants from high to low rate on Yelp. I will provide them with a sets of rating card ranging from 1 to 5 stars. Afterward I will calculate to see which restaurants have the higher rating and if they match with the results from Yelp.

  • Students always believe that they can get good grades by studying for long hours. Time spent on studying should not be the key factor of getting good grades, proper study method and ability of focusing on certain things really make difference on effective and efficient study. we can collect data of grades of students who work long hours and believe that’s the only thing make difference and those who don’t spend long time but can really work efficiently, and compare there overall and average grades.

  • A piece of conventional wisdom that I have heard is that you should always wash your hands before you eat. In order to test if washing your hands before you eat every single time really does keep you from getting sick, you would have to take two large groups of people as test subjects, and have one group wash their hands before they eat every time, while the other does not, and after a year collect their health records, and the data would show a pretty good trend one way or the other if it does make a difference.

  • One piece of conventional wisdom I have come across is that “Money can buy you happiness.”In my opinion I don’t think that money can buy you happiness in all cases, I think that there are times when people can be extremely happy without paying a dime. Sure money can buy you almost any material good you want but is all happiness materialistic? I think not. One way to collect some data is to give a random 10 people a lump sum of money to spend on anything they desire, and record the amount of happiness they encountered. More than likely 9 out of the 10 would be extremely happy but that does not mean their happiness is permanent. I consider this to be temporary happiness.

  • One conventional wisdom I heard is the more active you are, the higher chance you have of being hired by potential employers. I would test this by comparing two applications, one application of a student who is active in many organizations and clubs and another application of a student who was not involved in any organizations or clubs, for the same job position and see which student would receive the position.

  • One of the more common conventional wisdoms i have heard is money cant buy happiness. This one would be challenging to test but in order to test it i would need to collect several things. I would need the amount of income from several different people, one that is wealthy and one that is less wealthy. I would also need to look at things such as what additional items these people have such as cars, electric appliances, etc. I would have to compare the difference between the people and their lifestyles to see if money really does buy happiness or not.

  • A conventional wisdom that I hear a lot is that, “Money can’t buy happiness.” This is a very subjective statement because how can you measure happiness? Happiness is only perceived, therefore measuring happiness can be difficult. The best way to do so would be to survey a large amount of people in different economical classes and see who claims to be happy.

  • A piece of conventional wisdom I’ve heard is to hire a plumber rather than a handyman when dealing with heating or plumbing issues, even if they charge a higher price for fixing the same problem. It is believed that the quality of work plumbers do is superior to that of handymen. The data I would check would be reviews people have written about the plumbers on websites like angieslist.com and compare them to reviews written about handymen. After collecting and analyzing this data, it would be possible to conduct an experiment.

  • A conventional wisdom I have heard is that could the millennials function without any handheld technology. Today’s age everyone is constantly on their device while walking, and driving, they are a hight risk of being in an accident such as getting hit by a car or hit someone else. One way we could test this date is to collect a small sample data of college students commuter, and none commuter who lives on the campus. Ask them to leave their cell phone one off for one day and monitor their behaviors throughout the day, and then analysis this date look for behavior patterns among the sample.

  • I would test the conventional wisdom that political contributions increase a candidate’s chance of election. In order to do this, I would collect the campaign contribution monetary totals for politicians during election years and then record whether or not they won their election. Then, I would look for a correlation between the candidates that raised more money than their opponents and who won the election. Because this is not a scientific experiment, we cannot conclude that correlation implies causation. However, it would be interesting to see how strong of a correlation there is for specific politician classes (President, Senator, Congressman, Mayor, etc).

  • One piece of conventional wisdom I always here is you get what you pay for, in some instances it is true. An example that it is used a lot is with repairs either around the house or on your car. A way to test is true you can take two of the same cars for say an oil change, one place goes to the dealership to get it done and the other you take to a local garage. After the job is done you can go back and look at the receipts to see what was charged.

  • One piece of conventional wisdom is the more you study for a test, the better the grade you are going to get. In order to test this you would have to ask people how long they studied for the test. After the test you would have to compare the hours studied to the results of the test. You would be able to see if the more people studied, the higher their grades are.

  • Something I’ve heard several times in my life that I consider to be conventional wisdom is that eating more candy increases your chance of getting cavities. This is trusted knowledge. When people hear that, it encourages them to take better care of their teeth when they eat more sugary foods. This can be disproved by looking at dental records, and matching them with people’s personal eating habits. The amount of cavities someone has may have a correlation with how much candy they eat, but people get cavities from other reasons, not only eating candy.

  • One piece of conventional wisdom is practice makes perfect. An example of how this can be studied is giving two people a paper with a paragraph on it. Give one person one day to memorize the content and the other 20 minutes to memorize the content. Have each recite word for word the given paragraph and see who has more success to test whether or not the difference in allotted practice times made a difference.

  • One piece of “conventional wisdom” is the higher the salary of a professional athlete is, the better (for example, more goals/points/assists) the athlete is going to be. You can support or disprove this statement through data. For example, since I am a soccer player and fan, I would look over the statistics (most goals/assists) of the MLS and the salaries of the top players of the league. When I collected this data, I am able to see if the best scorers and the highest paid athletes match.

  • A piece of conventional wisdom that I was always told to be true is that studying for longer hours makes students receive better grades. I could test this by asking a class the amount of hours they studied in reference to the grade they received on the test. Then, I would compare the amount of hours studied to the test grades and see if it actually made a significant difference. This would be harder to collect truthful data on, as many students tend to lie about their grades in fear of embarrassment, and some students also lie about the amount of hours that they studied so they have leverage to argue with a teacher about the grade they received.

  • One example of conventional wisdom is that if someone works hard, they will be successful. This statement can be tested in many areas of our lives, but the simplest area would probably be academic success. In order to find out if working hard in your academics translates into doing well in your courses, a survey could be conducted to determine how many hours per week an individual spends working on a particular course and see how that correlates to the grade they received in that course at the end of the semester.

  • A piece of conventional wisdom I have heard is that Japanese car’s fuel efficiency is better than American cars. One way to test this is to find 60 people who owns a car.
    These cars must be Japanese brand like Toyota and Nissan, also American brand like Ford and Chevrolet. The most important is these car must come with MPG record display. I will collect the mile per gallon (MPG) on the 60 cars every week. And I will divide the 60 cars in several groups based on size of the car and displacement of the car. Finally, comparing the car’s MPG in same category between American brand cars and Japanese brand cars. As a result ,the final data will show Japanese car’s fuel efficiency is better than American cars or not.

  • A piece of conventional wisdom I have heard is that you should always get 8 hours of sleep a night. Apparently this will increase your energy, and stamina through out the day, and allow you to have more focus in the activities you are engaged in throughout the day. You can test this theory by gathering data around objects who get less than eight hours of sleep, exactly eight hours of sleep, and more than eight hours of sleep. Place them all in controlled environments where you can test their energy level, and focus level. These recordings will allow you the evidence to support or challenge your theory.

  • One piece of conventional wisdom that has been imposed on my way of thinking is that states that vote for Democratic Presidential candidates are home to cities with large populations living under the poverty line because they depend on the economic assistance that Democratic candidates promise them. I would start by creating a poll and sending it to a randomly selected pool of citizens within the populace that lives in those poverty-stricken cities. The poll would simply ask what the most important issues are to them and why they vote for the candidates that they do.

  • One piece of conventional wisdom is that exotic vacation destinations are better than ski vacation destinations. It is believed that tourists like exotic resorts over ski resorts because of the sun and the beach and that people are more likely to go on vacation during the summer than in winter. One way to test this theory is by collecting data on the number of people who go on vacation during summer and the number of people who go on vacation during winter. This data can be collected by looking at the number of airplane tickets booked and at the number of rooms booked in the famous resorts during the two time periods. The figures generated from the collection of these data will give an indication of whether or not exotic vacation destinations are preferred over ski vacation ones.

  • A piece of conventional wisdom that I have heard and observed in the business world is that men over 6 feet are more likely to become CEO’s than shorter men. This may be because these men exude more confidence and are more assertive. However, there are many outliers to this sweeping claim. In order to test this with data, you can collect the height measurements of all male CEO’s from Fortune 500 companies to see just how many are 6 feet tall or above.

  • One piece of conventional wisdom I’ve heard is that getting a good nights rest (7 or more hours of sleep) will help you do better on a test. I could test this by adding a survey question on each exam that simply asks how many hours of sleep someone got the night before. Then link each individual test score with the students hours of sleep the before and see if there is much of a difference in test scores between the different hours of sleep. I think it would be interesting to take a look at because sometimes people get less sleep because they were studying more then others.

  • A piece of conventional wisdom commonly thought of in the sports world is that right handed quarterbacks give your team a better chance to win. This wisdom is so deeply embedded in football culture that all of the best offensive lineman play left tackle to cover what is commonly known as, “the blindside,” which refers to a quarterbacks back, being the left side for a right handed quarterback. In order to test if this is true, the data that could be collected is win percentage of the few left handed QB’s that have played in the league. If this data is too small to be a sufficient sample size, data from college teams could also be examined, though weighted less heavily.

  • One piece of conventional wisdom I have received is hard work pays off. Now to collect data on this, I feel that you would need to monitor an athlete or student and see how many hours per week they put into training or studying and next see how it correlates to their performance or their test scores. You might find that the athlete who puts more hours into training performs better than the athlete who does not and the student who studies more scores higher on tests than the student who doesnt.

  • A piece of conventional wisdom that I have heard is that “if you work hard you will succeed”. Because this is such a broad statement it can be tested for numerous situations. If you categorize it for high school seniors you can collect data from select college websites or their student graduation rates. On another note you can also collect data from numerous entrepreneurial/start-up websites (Entepreneur.com and Money.Inc) to show the hardwork, perserverance and effort it takes start a company, for example; if the entrepreneur went to college? How long did it take for them to turn a profit? How many failed businesses? Lastly, this statement can be tested against athletes. By collecting data on college or high school students to see if the training and practice regiments they endure will help them reach their dream of going to professional league teams.

  • A piece of conventional wisdom I’ve learned in my life is that dog’s mouths are cleaner than humans. I could test this by taking swabs from human’s mouths and dog’s and compare the amount of bacteria that is present. I think this would be interesting because many people accept this fact to be true, and I want to know if it is a legitimate fact. Dog’s mouths have been everywhere, and I find it a little hard to believe that they are cleaner than humans.

  • One piece of conventional wisdom that I’ve heard is that students who wait until the night before a test to study get lower scores than those who study more in advance. This could be tested by comparing the scores of students who procrastinate on studying until the night before with students who studied the same material over a longer period of time before the test.

  • One piece of conventional wisdom i have heard is that a college degree will make you more money in the workforce. A way to test this is by gathering large amounts of data on people who have a college degree and their total earnings at the NRA and averaging these number, and compare it to peoples total earnings who have not attended college at the NRA average income. I think this would be interesting because this is a lot of peoples reasoning for going to college, and it may not even be true.

  • One piece of conventional wisdom I’ve heard is that turning your phone off of wifi mode, when you aren’t connected, saves battery. We can collect battery usage data from a phone connected to wifi, a phone that isn’t connected to wifi but has wifi turned on, and a phone that isn’t connected to wifi with the wifi turned off. The same phone would have to be used for all three, to keep as many variables as possible constant. The test would have to be done with multiple phones, to prove that the wisdom is or isn’t true and applicable in multiple situations.

  • One conventional wisdom statement that is always thrown around is “standing in front of the microwave while your food is cooking will damage brain cells and may cause cancer. Though now proven in modern day science that the waves the are emitted from the oven are very low in volume and harm, many people still refuse to be anywhere near the microwave when food is cooking. A way to test this theory is to have a certain number of people, like 50 stand by the microwave, and 50 nowhere near the oven while the food is in there. Then repeat this experiment multiple times and test the value of brain cells, or cancer rate after that.

  • A piece of conventional wisdom that I’ve received is that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. To collect this data, we would need to do a study with a large population split into two groups: one group would eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner and the second group would abstain from breakfast. We would then have to administer a daily test to each group and analyze the results.

  • One piece of conventional wisdom that I have heard before is “going to the beach lowers stress.” The beach is a very relaxing place for people to go to in the summer. To back up my data I would go to the beach and ask how people feel, I would hand them a survey and they could check off their feelings. This to me is the easiest way to gather data.

  • A piece of conventional wisdom I’ve received is that watching television for too long will hurt your eyes. For testing, I would define watching television for more than 3 hours a day to be excessive. I would take a sample of people and do a routine eye exam (like eye doctors do) to find out how good or poor their vision is. This sample would include those who watched tv for less than 3 hours as well as those who watched tv for more than 3 hours. I would then compare the average of both groups and test for significant difference.

  • In fact, the belief of an extensive undergraduate curriculum is a symbol of quality, and necessary to attract students. This example of conventional wisdom can be reinforced by separating high-division credit hours courses and lower-division credit hours courses. Additionally, we would want to use a narrower and coherent range of curricular options by using advising and scheduling, so students will not get lost in the process.

  • An example of a piece of conventional wisdom i’ve heard is the phrase “no struggle, no progress”. I feel as if in some cases this can be true, but in others easily proven wrong. There may be a person gifted with a talent where it doesn’t require much effort to be good at something, whereas others may work extremely hard to reach the same goal or accomplish the same task. The data that could be collected to prove or disprove this conventional wisdom is to find if there is a correlation with people who spend more hours working on a project, and a better overall grade for the project. I’m sure that along with this data there would be outliers which prove this conventional wisdom wrong.

  • An example of conventional wisdom is “The more a student networks and attends job fairs during college, the higher the likelihood of them receiving a job offer after graduation”. This statement can be tested by finding a correlation between the number of job fairs a student attends and the number of job offers he/she receives. This conventional wisdom can be false if the type of employers a student is searching for does attend job fairs or if the student gets nervous in large settings and does not communicate his/her attributes well.

  • One piece of conventional wisdom I’ve heard is that sugar causes hyperactive behavior in children, but is that actually true or are children just hyper and people are looking for something to ascribe a cause to? To test this, I would probably have some sort of objective way of measuring hyperactivity, like time spent running around in a teaching environment, or number of students that are highly fidgety. Then, I would probably have a control group fed sugarless snacks (but told they were sugary), and then a group fed actual sugary snacks, and see how those numbers change.

  • Its common thought that in wealthier towns the schools are better. This is a reasonable conclusion; rich people have bigger homes and therefore pay more property taxes. However, as with all bits of common knowledge, that is not necessarily true. In order to evaluate the quality of schools I would compare college placement rates of schools in towns with varying median incomes. Because of the nature of schools however, these are not the only viable pieces of data. For example I could use, graduation rates, test scores, and ratings by a third party institution.

  • One piece of conventional wisdom I’ve heard is that meats are a better source of protein than vegetables. This can be tested by sampling a few popular meat choices and vegetables that contain high sources of proteins. Once you calculate the amount of protein in each then you can look at the other nutrients they contain and effects they have on the body. You would recognize that vegetables high in protein are better digested by the human body and contain more beneficial nutrients than meats.

  • A very popular piece of conventional wisdom in Finance is to stay informed about rising and falling stock prices, as well as what is happening in the market. This seems sensible because it is natural for people to want to be informed about how their stocks or investments are progressing, and they wouldn’t want to miss out on an opportunity to make a lot of money. However, this could be challenged by telling investors to ignore all of the hype and news surrounding the market because it is so volatile.When checking up on their investments daily, people let emotions take over with decision making and commonly make investment mistakes. In order to test this theory of ignoring stock “noise” is to make a number of identical investments with two groups of people. One group ignores the noise, and lets their stocks run their course, while the other checks up regularly on the status of their investments. Then after a period of time (5 years) you could collect data on each group’s returns as a whole, and then choose which came away with more returns, and therefore had a better investment strategy.

  • One piece of conventional wisdom I can think of is the more you study, the better grade you will get. Though the answer may seem obvious, it could be tested by study hours leading up to a test or exam and the hours will correlate with each students grades. In doing so, one may find that a student that studied for 9 hours could receive the same grade as a student that studied for 3 hours. This may lead one to look at other things pertaining the exam, such as class attendance, depth of notes, quiz and homework grades, or maybe even interest in the subject, though that may be hard to quantify accurately.

  • “If you work hard, you will be successful” is a piece of conventional wisdom that can be very true for a lot of people. But in order to disprove it and show that it is not an automatic pathway to success, I could speak to people who have worked extremely hard in dead-end jobs and never moved up any sort of social ladder. By the same token, others are born into success, and never really work a day in their life. Hard work does not always lead to sure success, and not working hard doesn’t always lead to automatic failure.

  • There is a common misconception that students who do not pursue a higher degree directly out of college will not return to school in the future. As an upcoming graduate, I have been told countless times that if I accept a full-time position and put off a Masters degree until I am financially stable, I will never take the time off of work to pursue the degree. I would try to disprove this belief by taking a poll of the upcoming graduates who have accepted a job, but plan on returning to school in the future. I would then send out a quick survey to the applicants 5 years and 10 years later to calculate the percentage of those who had pursued a higher degree.

  • A piece of conventional wisdom i have often heard is that you should wait at least thirty minutes after eating a meal, to go swimming. Many state that if you do not wait atleast thirty minutes, you could experience severe cramps or discomfort that could be dangerous while swimming. If this piece of conventional wisdom were to be tested true, you could experiment by having a group of people eat the same meal at the same time. Next, you would have some of the subjects go swimming upon completion of their meal, some would go after fifteen minutes, and some after thirty minutes and an hour. To analyze, you would test each subject based upon how they are feeling, and if they felt any discomfort while swimming. The data collected should be able to prove or disprove the idea that swimming within thirty minutes of eating is dangerous.

  • One piece of conventional wisdom I’m used to hearing is to major in something you love. While this may lead someone to excel in that particular subject because they are passionate in it, it could result in someone choosing a major that doesn’t lead to a good career and leaving them underemployed/unhappy later in life. I would like to test this by polling students who majored in something they love and compare it to job satisfaction later in life.

  • A piece of conventional wisdom I have heard through the years is “if you surround yourself with successful people, you will be successful too”. When people think of the word “success” they usually think about wealth and accomplishments, so to test this piece of conventional wisdom grabbing data from peoples’ income would be best. In order to do this I would evaluate the income of a group of people who are not really considered “successful” and then I would take a group of, lets say, successful business owners and surround them in everyday life with the less successful peoples. From there I would give it 6 months to a year with these two groups to see if the successful business owners have influenced or altered the “not successful” people for the better or worse.

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