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September 28, 2008


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Dominique Walker

The correlation between depression and life changing events resulting in a higher chance of breast cancer is said to happen and there was a study conducted to prove that. So the study was done and we had a “control study” where six hundred and twenty two women were chosen. Of those women two hundred and fifty five of them were diagnosed with breast cancer and the rest was fine. Now the ages of these women was 45 years and younger. They did a System Inventory and a Questionnaire on life changing events. Now from the information given we can conclude that there are some hidden data and confounding factors in this study. They ask these questions when the women already had breast cancer and it do not even say what type of study this case was. The women were not randomly chosen they were already patients of a participating doctor. So we can conclude that because of it not being random data that it already has a skewed perception and the results are not completely accurate. Then when you talk about the conclusion that women who have suffered two or more traumatic events in their life had a sixty two percent greater risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer but optimistic women were twenty five percent less likely to develop breast cancer. The problem with that is number one these women who were included in the study already had breast cancer and those percentages of having bad experiences is not given so we don’t know for sure how many of the two hundred and fifty five women had these events. Plus that is not even a good representation of the population, because less women had the cancer in the study so they are taking a bigger percentage from the smaller group and correlating it with the whole population of women which is incorrect. If more women who were in the study had the cancer that might also have been a bigger effect. If you look at the study you can not even figure where the sixty two percent comes from. Also the women who have cancer did not get it from being unhappy. We did not even look at the fact that breast cancer can also be past down through genes and that life patterns can also cause the cancer. The study does not say it did a control for those outside issues and focus entirely on just what they were looking for. Another thing we failed to mention was what is considered to be optimistic view and what is a life changing event the study does not say what questions were asked nor does it explain who all did they ask from the study it looked like they only asked the women who had cancer already. If that is the case then that is a problem because then it makes the data invalid because it does not give a whole representation of everyone. I am still stuck on how they got that sixty two percent from only a small percentage of women with the cancer and then the ages that they picked is also not a good representation when you go back and look at the statistics of who might get it. It just says women so that means it can be any age.

Xuewu Zhang

Wasn’t it Aristotle who once said that short people can’t be happy. Reading this I find it rather interesting as it clearly shows that in general there is a relationship between life satisfaction and happiness. The article suggest the reason why tall people are happier is because they have higher income, a better education, and a higher position in society (and off the ground no doubt). I wonder though, if it was the tallness that caused the happiness or the happiness which caused the growth in height. Somewhere this has been proven, as it seems children in happier countries are also taller.
This leads me to think maybe it’s the conditions under which the people are born and raised that causes the disparity in height and life satisfaction. After all this data only shows a relationship, and at most only gives a correlation of height versus life satisfaction.
Let me explain, it has been shown that people from more industrialized and wealthy countries have been surveyed to be happier in general. What this could mean is that a child born into this abundant situation is afforded possibilities and luxuries not imaginable to children of an improvised nation. That is the opportunity of education, and the mobility to move across social classes. Besides that the wealth of food and nutrition in the country can contribute to the height and wellness of its people. As it has been empirically proven that nutrition contributes to growth. Just look at change in height of Americans since the landing of the pilgrims to our contemporary society. It wouldn’t be so far fetched to say that the change in average height has grown 2-3 inches.
Examining this graph more though it seems the fact that taller people always have higher satisfaction is false. In general it’s true but taking a closer look at the graph you will see something interesting. That is in terms of average happiness the taller folks have a better life satisfaction, with most rating their supposed happiness from six to nine. However, what wasn’t expected was the fact that those that rated themselves most happy, at ten were shorter than those form level six to nine.
This could be easily explained though as since these people are shorter they have expected less in life, but unlike maybe their shorter counterparts they haven’t given up or had better luck, burdening and striving for success even with their self felt shortcomings. That being said seeing themselves in that position coming out of rough and humble times, and now in a position of wealth and abundance they truly see the joys of life. Deeply enjoying what life and opportunity has afforded them and the obstacles they endured to get there. Nevertheless, this is only a guess on how height is correlated to life satisfaction. To be sure though there needs to be an in depth study on the relationship of height and satisfaction. For example, a prospective and a retrospective study of how taller folks feel compared to shorter ones, and how height has affected them. If only there was a way to induce rapid height growth.

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