As you discovered in the asteroid activity in Lesson 4.1.2, people are not very good at picking representative samples. Similarly, it is actually quite difficult to “fake” randomness.
Use the same survey method for everyone: text messaging, phone call, or personal interview. Carefully record the responses you get.
Ask each of your respondents to make each of the following choices randomly. Make sure you read the choices exactly the same way to each respondent.
Pick a number between
Pick a vowel (a, e, i, o, or u).
Choose a color.
Make a bar graph for the responses to each of the three statements in your survey. Write the precise wording of the statement with each bar graph.
Do your results show that the people’s choices were truly random?
Why or why not?
Try to explain any trends or interesting patterns that you observe.
Are the results similar to what you expected? Why or why not?
Why would using a mass email or a social networking site not be a good plan?
Before you start your survey, decide exactly how you want to word your questions. Write them down, so you can read them the same way to each person you survey.
Answers will vary.