Re: Dartmouth Predicts GPA Based on Phone Tracking App
This is definitely a strong case for how a college campus can serve as microcosm for adult life. Sleeping, studying, exercising - the study didn't mention eating habits, but students do that on campus, too, and many of them even work there. I love being skeptical, but that .17 point accuracy is hard to argue with. Numbers don't lie. I suppose it's worth noting that Dartmouth is an Ivy League school so the results may have been skewed towards the positive end (the full report actually notes this)... or we may be looking at a more diligent than average group of students. I wonder what would/will happen if/when the study is repeated at other schools or with larger numbers of students. There's certainly proof here that the predictive model itself works.
There are a few things that left me wanting to know a little more. The video and the report make repeated mention of 'conscientiousness' and how it relates to improved grades. What the heck does that have to do with smartphone-based location tracking? Actually, of the four other conclusions they make, only two seem (potentially) tied to the location awareness - shorter conversations (which I'm not sure how the phone would really measure with just location), and increased time studying. The others, "positive affect", and stress levels throughout the semester, seem to rely on 'periodic self-reports' instead, which they don't really describe how they carry out. It seems more like a hybrid study, which is fine, but this is not exactly a case of the Eye of Sauron phone. Certainly, as phones and wearables can pull more kinds of data together, though, we might get there sooner than we think.