measured me experiments in marchThe March is almost over, so I thought it is a good time to tell what kind of things I am have been tracking and what self-experiments I have been conducting this month. As usual, at the end of the month I will export data from my rTracker log , analyze it and will share any interesting insights and findings with you.

 

Here is the list of my current projects and experiments:

Sleep

  • I continue logging content of my dreams using 10 basic “keywords” (lucid dreaming, flying, falling, being chased, special powers, intimate, music playing, crying, laughing, embarrassment) with an ultimate goal of linking the dream content to my behavior and psychological states

Psyche

  • I added the third dimension to mood measurement (dominance), which essentially measures degree of dominance/control of the emotions . The idea is to move away from measuring just mood, and capture more emotional states using only 3 questions.
  • I am also conducting a modified version of Sami Inkinen’s experiment. if you recall, Sami found that his mood, when measured within 5 minutes of waking up, can actually predict his athletic performance and overall well-being for the rest of that day. While I believe that his scale actually measured self-esteem + locus of control rather than mood, I decided to focus on mood, and started logging my emotional state within 10 minutes of waking up, using PAD scale (pleasure/arousal/dominance; see above). At the end of the month, I plan to look at how well PAD scores can predict my physical and cognitive performance and well-being later that day, alone, and in combination with other variables
  • I am also tracking my locus of control and self-esteem three times a day. Psychologists consider both locus of control and self-esteem to be psychological traits, not states, so I am curious to see how much my LC and SE scores fluctuate throughout the day and across weekdays/weekends, and whether they are related in any manner to my behavior and other psychological states. One of my personal hypothesis is that quality of sleep affects my self-esteem
  • I continue tracking my happiness and life satisfaction. If you recall, in my previous experiment i was looking at how everyday activities affect my happiness; the time spent on each activity was a metric. This month, I am tracking the “flow” , my subjective assessment of how deeply engaged I was in that activity. For now I log it only for those activities that lasted at least 30 minutes, and the set of activities is limited to 19
  • I am also trying to establish connection between my psychological states (emotions, mood, happiness, stress) and situations/situational context/locations. Among the things that I am tracking are entropy (how unexpected/chaotic was that part of the day), simplicity (in how many activities I was involved), and a set of situations/locations/context (e.g., out with dog, out with partner, at work, professional networking, etc.)
  • Finally, in my first attempt to address stress, I started tracking exposure to three different type of stressors: intrapersonal (my personal thoughts, emotions, memories, inner conflicts), interpersonal (relationships and interactions with other people), and nonpersonal (weather, workload, etc.). Three times a day, I rate exposure to each of these stressor types using 10-points intensity scale. My goal is to see what kind of stressors I encounter most of the time, and to which of them I am most sensitive.

Work/Productivity

  • I have been tracking my creativity using 4 simple questions. To my knowledge, there is no scientifically validated scale for measuring creativity on a daily basis, so I came up with my own using work of Ellis Torrance  and Joy Paul Guilford
  • I also started tracking my productivity using two subjective scales (efficiency and concentration); I do not plan on doing anything with this information for now
  • Finally, every morning and afternoon, I am tracking my satisfaction with the following aspects of my job: meaningfulness, autonomy, control, recognition, workload, skills utilization, and sense of accomplishment. I would like to look at the correlations between these aspects of job satisfaction, and my stress and productivity levels.

Diet

  • I continue using 80 bites, and my goal this months is to reduce my meals consumption to under 80 “bites”. I am also track my “concentration” (how much I am focused on my food, and whether I use my computer or watch TV while eating) it; my theory is that when I am distracted or not concentrating enough on my meals, I tend to consume food faster.

Sociability

  • Those of you who met me in person probably noticed that I am shy at first, and it takes some time for me to “warm up”. I also happen to have a rather soft voice (yeah, just like in that Seinfeld’s “The Whisperer” episode), but have been working on it. So this month, i started tracking some elements of my interactions/encounters with other people (number of people interacted directly for at least 15 minutes), as well as several qualities of my voice (loudness, projection, pitch, “liveness”, pronunciation, fluency, and variety). I am not sure yet what I will do with this data, but most likely, will look at the relationships with sleep, stress, and other everyday things.

Finally, I have been testing two awesome apps which I will be reviewing soon.

That’s it, folks. I can’t wait to get my hands on all this data, and will definitely share the findings with you on this blog. Stay tuned!

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