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Get Active! The Power of WOOP

featured / behavioral research / health research / fmg culture

A few months ago, FMG launched their first ever Get Active! Challenge. For several weeks, employees worked in teams to log their daily "steps" and compete for some great prizes. This sparked a little friendly competitiveness between colleagues, prompted some clever team names, and most importantly, got us up and moving.

Being a new employee at the time, I was a little timid about sharing my less-than-ideal workout habits with my coworkers. So I chickened out and decided to watch from the sidelines. However, I knew that even if I wasn't ready to put my exercise habits in the limelight at work, I needed to work on them at home. To help me in my quest, and because I am a huge nerd, I turned... more

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The Role of Political Geography for Meaningful Data Visualization

featured / economics / data visualization / conferences

Map

I recently attended the inaugural edition of the Harvard Meeting on Political Geography sponsored by the Harvard Institute for Quantitative Social Science. The goal of the meeting was to gather leading scholars in the field and allow them to share their cutting-edge research with one another. Presenters included political scientists and practitioners, and the topics varied from voting in South Africa to the role of infrastructure on democratic representation. The papers can all be found here. The keynote speaker was geographer Kirk Goldsberry. He discussed the concepts of thinking spatially and made an argument that maps are themselves an analytical tool. He also emphasized the idea that although maps have been around for centuries,... more

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Top Five Takeaways from AAPOR 2015

featured / survey research / conferences / quality control

Last week I attended the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) Annual Conference for the first time. These are my top 5 takeaways:

  1. AAPOR is a strong association and conference. Perhaps this goes without saying but it is not the case with all organizations. AAPOR members are dedicated to their industry and passionate about research. This is also how we approach the field at FMG and it is nice to spend time with like-minded industry colleagues. The amount of work that volunteers have put into making AAPOR a strong association is a testament to the quality of membership. With significant threats to the current practice of survey methodology such as non-response, AAPOR is tackling these issues head on... more
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Learning About the Big Picture - Tackling Economic Challenges at the Micro Level

featured / economics / consumer behavior / conferences

When I tell people that I have a Ph.D. in economics, I get all kinds of responses. One of my favorites has been, "Oh, home economics?" "Yeah, you look like you'd be an artist or something." That said, one of the most common responses I get is, ‘Why would you want to study something so difficult and boring?" - although they usually try to phrase it more diplomatically. I take that as my cue to launch into some explanation/apology about loving math and how actually economics incorporates lots of interesting ideas and at its core is nothing more than studying how people make choices. And if you happen to love overanalyzing things, perhaps you will agree with me that there is nothing more interesting than... more

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Public Data and Public Health - Using Open Data to Promote Health and Safety

featured / public health / behavioral research / health research

Every two years, George Mason University hosts the D.C. Health Communication Conference (DCHC), which brings together people across the academic, government, and private sectors to discuss issues and opportunities related to health communication. On April 16-18, researchers and practitioners converged on Fairfax, VA, for this year's DCHC. George Mason University DC Health Communication

The panel and poster presentations covered a wide array of topics, including intercultural communication competence, health advocacy, computer-mediated communication and health, and the application of big data to health communication research. Fors Marsh Group was among the presenters at DCHC this year, and we discussed and demonstrated how publicly available data from national surveys can be used to identify tobacco prevention messaging strategies—a topic which... more

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Fors Marsh Group Deepens Its Public Policy Research Expertise with New Subject Matter Expert

election / voting / federal contracting / featured / news

April 23, 2015 – Fors Marsh Group (FMG) has broadened its public policy and election administration capabilities with the hiring of subject matter expert Dr. Thad Hall. Thad will be instrumental in continuing the strategic expansion of FMG’s public policy research capacity in support of clients such as the Department of Defense, Federal Voting Assistance Program, and National Institute of Standards and Technology.

“We warmly welcome Thad as we continue to grow and diversify our team,” said Fors Marsh Group Chief Research Officer Brian Griepentrog. “Our growth is a direct response to the needs of our federal clients. Thad’s expertise in policy and election administration coupled with his superb consulting and research skill set will certainly benefit our clients. I look forward to Thad growing... more

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