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Answering a Big Question with a Small Sample: Estimating the Size of the Overseas Citizen Population

client work / market research / military research / research design / voting / blog

The Defense Department’s Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) is charged with ensuring that active duty military and U.S. citizens residing overseas have the opportunity to vote is U.S. elections. While the U.S. government keeps track of the size and location of active duty military, similar information is not available for overseas civilians. In an attempt to address this lack of information about this important population, FVAP tasked FMG with developing estimates of the size of the overseas civilian population by country. In this blog, I will briefly discuss the approach FMG used to develop these estimates as well as the results. It is FMG’s hope that general approach described here can provide guidance to researchers who face similar problems with respect to developing predictive models... more

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Totes Ma Goats: With invasive species month ending, goats join the cause.

client work / current events / social marketing / blog

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) declared April as Invasive Plant Pest and Disease Awareness Month and asked that people join a fight they can’t win alone. In one Michigan county, APHIS will have some unlikely helpers too – goats! Starting next month, goats will graze on invasive species as part of a parks department pilot program.

Though experts have deemed invasive species a serious risk, many laypeople don’t think invasive species are particularly dangerous or relevant (and thus don’t allocate many if any resources to learning about them or reducing them). A lack of public engagement and shared responsibility is problematic given a simple action or uninformed decision can wreak havoc on our environment. For example, a seemingly harmless souvenir... more

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Going out on the proverbial legal ledge: using social media for applicant screening

behavioral research / conferences / social media research / blog

The growth and acceptance of social media sites across generations has been well-documented. Given the popularity of Facebook and Twitter and the unfiltered type and amount of information that individuals post about themselves, it is not surprising that some businesses view social media as a quick and inexpensive way to learn additional information about and potentially screen applicants (1).

While businesses are hoping to get an unfiltered picture of their applicants, they might also be getting information unrelated to the job that could lead to illegal employment decisions. That is, U.S. Federal law prohibits businesses from making employment decisions that discriminate against individuals of certain protected classes: race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information (2).... more

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Your Web-Based Survey Should be “Medium Rare”

behavioral research / user experience / blog

On Wednesday evening, I had dinner at Medium Rare , a fun, friendly, neighborhood restaurant in the Cleveland Park neighborhood of Washington DC, where “customers can just relax, and have a simple yet exceptional meal served to them.” This was my third time there, and each time I go, I am amazed by how busy it is. Honestly, it’s good but what’s so fantastic is the experience – there is a pre-fixed menu of artisan rustic bread, mixed green salad, and culotte steak and fries – the only thing you have to choose is the temperature of your steak. Even their wine and beer lists and the dessert menu are short. Everything is prepared well and consistent – something many people,... more

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The Most Wonderful Time of the Year - Conference Season

conferences / current events / usability / user experience / company events / blog

April is a really exciting month as it kicks off the start of the busy conference season and plenty of speaking engagements. My calendar seems pretty booked and I am excited to meet new people and talk about UX with others in the DC/NoVa area, and at conferences across the country. Here is a brief rundown of what’s to come – hope to see you at a few:

Tuesday, April 8 - DC Web Women’s Code(Her) Workshop Series: I will be teaching about integrating usability testing methods in development. This should be eye-opening and encourage lots of conversation because many people do not even know that they can or should test their products even as early as during the coding stage. (David discussed this last... more

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The bigger victory: Nationals star discusses struggle to quit dip as National Public Health Week begins

behavioral research / health research / social marketing / youth / blog

The Nationals’ home opener may not have gone as planned, but yesterday they came through with the win and a stellar kickoff to another opening day – that of National Public Health Week (NPHW).

Ian Desmond delivered the game-winning homer against the Braves, but the “bigger victory” he spoke of after the game was going the entire game without dip. Like many other tobacco users, Desmond began his habit as a teenager – underscoring the importance of prevention efforts (a key theme of this year’s NPHW).

Nationals star Ian Desmond

Through his description of his struggle to quit, Desmond highlighted several themes potentially key to the success of prevention efforts.

  1. Tradition. Smokeless tobacco... more
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