27 January 2013

Reasons to be Grateful: Summary

So I've spent over a year (actually 60 weeks) documenting each week five things for which I was grateful, or which made me happy, that week. And at last I've gotten round to documenting the findings. So what did I learn? What difference did it make?

Sprats
Conclusion: Frankly, it's a Load of Sprats

First let's summarise the 300 observations made during the experiment.
[Yes, sorry Sue, I'm going to be an anally boring scientist again!]

Results
I've broken the observations into 10 broad categories as best I can.

Category
# Obs

%
Food & Drink
102
34%
Hobbies (a)
65
22%
Weather & Seasons
29
10%
Personal & Medical
27
9%
Places
20
7%
Family & Friends
15
5%
Anthony Powell Society
8
3%
Celebrations
7
2%
Arts
7
2%
Miscellaneous
20
7%
(a) Includes such as natural history, photography, the garden, family history ...
(b) Includes photographs of sunrises and sunsets as well as "sunshine"

Observations
  1. Should we be surprised at the dominance of food and drink (and that was overwhelmingly food, by the way)? Given everything else about me, probably we shouldn't. Worrying perhaps, but hardly surprising. No wonder I'm the size I am.

  2. What did surprise me was the high score for hobbies. In retrospect I shouldn't be surprised given the amount I watch what goes on in the garden etc. and the number of flowers I seem to photograph.

  3. I was also surprised at the amount I seem to notice and care about the weather, and not just the fact that because I have a tendency to SAD I like the sunshine.

  4. There seems to be confirmation that we've never been a close family nor do we do grand celebrations. And I guess this also confirms that I don’t have a wide circle of close friends and that I don’t get out enough. Well who would have guessed?

  5. One thing I have been doing for a couple of years now, partly aligned to the hypnotherapy, is keeping a very qualitative track of my mood — on a rough scale of -3 to +3 (0 is OK, -3 the depths of depression and +3 totally manic). Over the period of the experiment the 365-day rolling average score has risen from 0.28 to 0.56. Well at least it's going in the right direction, and I wouldn't expect that average to get above 1 unless I'm permanently manic. And that ain't ever likely to happen. I would expect to stabilise at about 0.75 to 0.8 — there will always be ups and downs, one just hopes for a preponderance of ups.

  6. Also over the time period of the experiment I have seen a small decease in my weight and by fasting blood glucose level. Not enough of either and hardly statistically significant, but again at least in the right direction.
Conclusions
How much of this is attributable to the experiment? Well who knows? There are just too many variables and too few hard measurements. This in itself was perfectly predictable, and even predicted.

What does this tell me that I didn't know or couldn't have guessed? Frankly bugger all!

That doesn't mean it wasn't interesting, and sometimes a challenge, to do. But beyond that I doubt it says anything very useful at all. But that's the nature of experiments!

So yes, in summary, it's a load of sprats!

No comments:

Post a Comment