[Air-L] Text Sample Size

Murray Turoff murray.turoff at gmail.com
Tue Aug 18 10:10:43 PDT 2009

It gets more complicated and some of our early studies in the late
70's showed that
1`.  the design influences how much is written in replies.

if the design encourages immediate response like opening a window for
the user to type there reply (done today in gmail when you use the
slow verison) or when the user has to issue a command to reply then
the instant reply was like 5-7 lines and when they had to issue a
command it was more like 10-14 almost double.

usually that meant they came back and did a reply later which we could
tell in those days becuase there was no browser inteh way of tracking
the data.  however when the reply was made is a factor you want to
measure to see if it is any different.  If people wait and thnk about
it they usually have more to say.
some of the early work in this area were in cacm articles by hiltz and
turoff back in those days.   since i am on vacation i cannot easily
reference the other work.  remind be after mid sept.l

you will need to know how many replies and how many males and females
to look at significance tests to see what you can do.
first you take the distribution of size of all comments by males and
separately all comments by females and do a test to see if it is a
normal distribution.   If it is for both you can find the easy test to
see if the normal has different peaks for each of the two

If it is not normal you need to use non parametric statistical tests.
 you are also going to have to check the length of time of the
creation of the item being replied to and the time interval for each
reply.  i suspect this will be zipf curve of the frequency of replies
over the length of time as will be the number of items over time.
That might also lead to some discovery of the older items get the
larger they might be which would be interesting to discover and it
might be a property of the subject matter.

I think some studies by Roxanne hiltz on virtual classroom showed that
females made longer comments then males in response to questions and
that was correlated with higher verbal test scores they had on
entering college.  You have to check with her.

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