Human beings are nothing if not curious. We always want to know more, learn something new, and play around with what we already know, which we do through experimentation. Everything from non-toxic markers to antibiotics to pretzels were discovered by accident as the result of an inquisitive experiment someone was conducting. Will you improve the world with one of your experiments? Here's a brief rundown on how to conduct an experiment properly.

Ask a Question

All experiments begin with a question. You might be wondering if getting dental work done will earn you more hits on your online dating profile, if your grandma's cookie recipe would taste good with low fat ingredients, or whether multivitamins improve your overall health. Choose one question and one question only for each experiment to avoid getting confusing results, and make sure it's something you can test on your own. A great example is a question posed by realtor in nearby Durham. They were curious as to how much an open house on a for-sale listing improves the sale on the property, if at all. Will a similar home sell just as quickly without hosting an open house and inviting guests in?

Design the Test

Once you've decided on the purpose of your experiment, it's time to design the test. What would be the easiest way to find out the answer? Whether it's baking cookies and asking your friends to taste test them, scrubbing your new tub with the latest cleaner, or using a new discipline method on your kids, make a list of the equipment you need. Is it a test tube? Some brown sugar and margarine? Or just a few extra people? Whatever it is, make sure you test only one element at a time and can easily compare it to a norm. So, to conduct their experiement, Marie and her team choose two homes for sale in the same neighbourhood and scheduled two open houses for one of the property listings, but not the other.

Do Your Trials

Conducting experiments is often quite fun. You might enlist the aid of your co-workers with a blind taste test or try and teach your cat to use a toilet. The more trials you do, the more accurate your results will be, so if possible try to do your test several times to confirm the results. If you get different results every time, you may have to think about re-designing your test, as another factor might be interfering. They hosted the open houses for the one listing as she would any other listing she has and conducted in the same manner. Same with the second house listing, only no open-houses were provided.

Analyze the Outcome

Once all your trials are complete it's time to look at what you've learned and determine the answer to your question. Did people like the low fat cookies? Did the spa treatment make you feel better about yourself? Is your cat now toilet trained? If the answer is "no," or even "I don't know," that doesn't mean the experiment was a failure, since you have still learned something. How did the company and their employees make out? They came to the conclusion that the open house brought many more potential buyers into the property in a shorter time and because of that the home did sell faster and with a bidding war!

At the Toronto Foot Clinic they make custom orthotics for individuals with foot pain and are always researching ideas to find new medical breakthroughs.




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