Thursday, September 24, 2009

Statement of Intent

With the graduate students writing out statements of intent or research interest, medical students writing up their summer project reports, and not-quite-medical students composing their apps, seems like everyone's got something to write that they'd rather not. But why be productive when you could write on a blog? Here's what I picture my "statement of intent" looking like if the world revolved around me as it should:

As a current candidate for three concurrent PhD degrees and AndyLand U, I am passionate about the sciences and research. The ultimate goal of science is to better our understanding of the world around us and, more importantly, to improve life for our fellow man. Too often, science has been perverted into a means of driving exploitation, destruction, and suffering. The aim of my graduate work is simple: to increase the amount of happiness in the world.

Research question: How does eating cookies affect Andy's happiness, as evaluated by a ten-point Likert scale?

The premise of this experiment is that the happiness of the world is cumulative (please refer to Appendix A, research abstract by Mr. Christie). Therefore, by improving the happiness of a single individual, the world's overall happiness is increased. By measuring the impact of cookies on happiness, we can then generalize this finding the the population as a whole. This can lead to novel health interventions, such as providing workers with free cookies.

The study will be conducted in a semi-quantitative manner using an N-of-1 approach. Essentially, I will participate in blocks of time where I am and am not eating cookies. Happiness, as rated on a ten-point Likert scale, will be evaluated at the beginning of, mid-way through, and at the end of each block. We will also be conducting the tests with a variety of different cookie types and brands to see which cookie can best maximize happiness. Statistical measures of internal consistency will be performed, and on-cookie and off-cookie blocks will be compared.

In conclusion, I intend to study happiness through cookies. Thank you for this tremendous opportunity and bon appetit!

2 comments:

sandlot said...

If i could fund your cookie study, i would.

anyway,

http://www.phdcomics.com/comics.php?f=1121

Teddy said...

we need more explosive revelations