Multivariable Thinking with GIS – UROP Spring Symposium 2021

Multivariable Thinking with GIS

Lauren Greenspan

Lauren Greenspan

Pronouns: she/her

Research Mentor(s): Audrey Michal, Assistant Research Scientist
Research Mentor School/College/Department: Psychology, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
Presentation Date: Thursday, April 22, 2021
Session: Session 1 (10am-10:50am)
Breakout Room: Room 9
Presenter: 7

Event Link


This research is aimed at understanding strengths and weaknesses of multivariable thinking in humans: how individuals can apply their thoughts and reasoning in one situation to another that on the surface may seem different, however involves similar approaches and applications. This study uses a Geographic Information System tool called the Opportunity Atlas to have participants walk through factors that may contribute to poverty, specifically household incomes. We ask the participants to create a model of the various factors after to see how they retained the information. After, the participants will also be asked to create an explanatory model of what factors might contribute to different performances on a math test. These results will then be compared to a control group who is asked to create both models without being primed with the Opportunity Atlas beforehand. We are aiming to see that the factors that the participants come up with on the math test model will be similar to those relating to household income. The sample is 30 participants, 15 in each group, and interviews are conducted over Zoom where the interviewer takes them through the process. There have not been any conclusive results yet. The project hopes to shed light on multivariable thinking and how humans can improve upon such abilities which can be beneficial in schools and workplaces. Specifically, we hope that there will be a difference between the models of the experimental and control groups, with the models of the experimental group including more factors and strengths that would not have been as obvious without the Opportunity Atlas.

Authors: Lauren Greenspan, Audrey Michal
Research Method: Survey Research

lsa logoum logo