Mythbusters first impression

Today I watched a Mythbusters video that outlined an experiment about weather or not women get bigger tips if their breast size is larger. The experiment was done by having the same woman work in a coffee shop for three days of the week. In order to control variables, she wore the same outfit for each day that she worked at the coffee shop. Using this method the team was able to test weather or not changing the woman’s breast size had any effect on how much the customers would tip. This method of experimentation had some key strengths and weaknesses. The strengths of this experiment being that the Mythbusters team was able to collect empirical data on unwitting participants, and that the Mythbusters team used the same person and outfit for the coffee shop employee. One weakness I noticed was that the test was on three different days. Having the test on three days could mean that the amount of people subjected to the test could vary, and thus the amount of tips could change based on the number of people rather than the intended variable of breast size. Another weakness was that the various customers could have varying amounts of cash to tip with. For example, a customer intending to tip the woman ,due to her breast size, might not be able to because of a lack of funds. Overall I would say that the experiment had a good amount of effort placed in its design, but with some key oversights.

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One thought on “Mythbusters first impression

  1. A lot of what you said was exactly what I was thinking while watching the video! It was really good of them to keep everything the same with the exception of the confederate’s (Kari’s) breast size. Testing on three different days could have been problematic in terms of the variables you mentioned. Difference in the amount of customers is interesting here, because they definitely watched to see how much each person placed in the tip jar, but it’s impossible to know for sure how much each person tipped based on the camera alone. I’m not sure if they were actually able to record all of that or if they just divided the total amount in tips by how many customers there were per day. You also make a good point that some people may not have cash to tip with (I never do). I also noticed there was a big group of men in suits on one day; maybe they had more money to tip!

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