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Changing Public Perceptions of Excessive Drinking

Most people are aware of the dangerous consequences of excessive drinking. However, most people think about excessive drinking like they do about gun ownership: that in a variety of contexts, it’s perfectly safe and normal. Several studies—including our own research—show that most people believe that the acceptability of excessive drinking is determined by the context in which ...

Password Guidelines for Real People

As far as I’m concerned, passwords are a necessary evil: a minor inconvenience standing in the way of something I want to do. Think about the last time you had to create a password. You were probably trying to sign up for a new app, buying something cool, taking an online quiz, or trying out an online service. You may be in the middle of something exciting or just going about y ...

National Disability Voter Registration Week

This is National Disability Voter Registration Week and it is vital to highlight some data showing the importance of registering voters with disabilities. The best data on this topic comes from the U.S. Census Bureau. In November of every even-numbered year, the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey (CPS) conducts a Voting and Registration Supplement. This supplement asks i ...

Three Changes to the Landscape of U.S. Military and Overseas Voting—2012 versus 2016

Imagine you are a young sailor in the U.S. Navy, and you’re deployed out on a ship for several months. Others on your ship have been talking about an important presidential election that’s coming up, but you’re worried that you won’t be able to vote because you won’t be home before Election Day. How are you going to cast a vote from the middle of the ocean? And are there resour ...

The Benefits of Moderator Training

Earlier this month, several members of the FMG team attended an intensive training led by the RIVA Training Institute that focused on the fundamentals of moderating. The training offers an experiential environment for students to learn about focus groups in the context of qualitative market research. RIVA is considered the gold standard in terms of moderator training providers, ...

The Dynamic Changes in American Elections – 2012 to 2016

American elections can change dramatically between presidential elections. Some of these changes were driven by political campaigns, with some states being more competitive than others in a given election; however, many of these changes were the result of new laws and policies that affect election administration. According to the Election Assistance Commission’s (EAC) 2016 Ele ...

Update – Respecting Your Participants: Ethical Considerations in Focus Groups

Focus groups, unlike some other forms of research, can feel quite informal. In fact, some of the best groups can look more like a table of friends chatting than a formal data collection effort. However, researchers always need to remember that focus groups (as well as one-on-one interviews and other qualitative methods) are research, and the same ethical requirements apply. If ...

UX and the Future of Personalization

Earlier this month, several FMG researchers attended the User Experience DC (UXDC) Conference hosted by the DC Chapter of the User Experience Professionals Association (UXPA). One of the presentations I attended was John Whalen’s talk titled, "The Future of UX is here: AI and Cognitive Design." In his talk, Dr. Whalen discussed artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, ...

Nats Open the Season with a Pair of Wins and a New Tobacco Use Policy that is Going Under the Radar

Ah, April. DC sports fans’ hopes are high—it’s early enough the Caps haven’t gotten knocked out of the playoffs unexpectedly soon, the Wizards are in the playoffs, and the Nats are back. Not much has changed. Harper and Murphy look to be back in a groove (and Zim?!); the bullpen looks shaky. And smokeless tobacco seems to be permitted in the park. Wait, didn’t D.C. prohibit the ...

FMG and Facebook Partner to Challenge Human Factors Students at 3rd Annual Usabil-a-thon

The third annual Usabil-a-thon was held this past weekend at the Fors Marsh Group User Experience Research Lab and offices in Arlington, VA. Twenty graduate students from George Mason University tested their skills by participating in the 12-hour applied research challenge and competition. The Usabil-a-athon brings together industry and academia as a platform to showcase and pr ...

To Really Address Fraud Claims, Conduct Comprehensive Election Audits

Recently, President Donald Trump said that Vice President Mike Pence will head up a commission to investigate voting irregularities and possible fraud, especially related to voter registration. Examining elections to identify fraud requires in-depth election audits—a methodological examination of the processes and procedures that states and localities use to manage their electi ...

The Risks of Copying and Pasting: Health Technology, Human Error, and User Experience Design

If you use any kind of word processing software, chances are you are pretty familiar with the copy-and-paste functions. Using them is an easy way to avoid retyping the same information, and you probably do it without a second thought. But when it comes to electronic health records, copy-and-paste functions can potentially lead to errors in health records, putting patients at ri ...

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