Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Alcohol Consumption By Seniors

When you are young and in college, drinking alcohol is something that is apart of the culture. There have even been movies made that have shown college drinking, or have focused on college students drinking. There have also been songs, most recently "I Love College" by Asher Roth, which essentially depicts how college is a place for partying, drinking and having a good time on the weekends. Whether parents want to believe this is true is another story. The fact of the matter is, plenty of college students drink. They drink for the social experience it entails and also use alcohol to fit in. This was always a topic that interested me, which is why my friend and I conducted a survey on Kalamazoo College seniors with the intention of finding out their drinking patterns, as well as what alcohol products are most popular as a result of their taste. We figured that seniors would be the most experienced drinkers, therefore having better knowledge on alcohol. Also, they were of legal age, so none of their responses to our survey could have had negative repercussions in any way. After writing up our survey, we distributed it to seniors by emailing them, and also going to the library and asking some of them for a little bit of our time. What we did to make sure our we were collecting our data randomly was from the Kalamazoo website, through directories, we focused on seniors by their majors or minors to look up their emails. There were in total 48 majors and minors and we numbered little slips of paper from 00 to 48 and placed them in a hat. We randomly drew 10 numbers and fathered all the emails from the majors that we selected and gathered in total of 163 emails. We did not include a major that had no seniors majoring in. After a few days, we were correct that not all the 163 random seniors would respond and collected only 32 responses. To receive more data, we went to the library and collected more data for a few days and collected about 27 responses. Every senior responded when we asked to fill out our survey. Our sample size was 57 seniors and we only included the people that answered. With the collection of our data, there were four categorical values we now had in our possession, because in our survey, we recorded the scale from 1 to 10 for the taste of Captain Morgan's, Keystone, Bud Light and Bacardi. For the taste of Captain Morgan, the average rating for taste was 5.7. The average rated taste for Keystone was 5.2. For the taste of Bud Light, the average rating for its taste was 6.5, and the average rating for the taste of Bacardi was 5.3. 1 was the lowest rating and 10 was the highest rating. Then, for two of our graphs we put together, we showed the correlation between family income and how much the seniors spent on alcohol in the past week. Our second graph showed the correlation between age and their rating of Bud Light. Both correlations were weak, showing us that even if a senior's family income was high, that did not mean that they were more likely to spend more on alcohol and the same can be said for a senior with a low family income; there was no evidence to suggest that they would spend less on alcohol. The second graph suggested that even with age, seniors did not necessarily shy away from Bud Light. A reason for this may be its reasonable price. The weak correlations may have just been a result of the responses or data that was given to us by the 57 seniors. If we increased our sample size, we may have had seen stronger correlations. Overall, I enjoyed doing this because it was interesting and intriguing to see how seniors in college drink, and the tastes they have. Even if this topic is not of interest to you, I would recommend you do a study of your own on something you are interested in, or have a passion for, because you might be surprised or intrigued about what you find out.

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