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SAS University Edition assesses chopsticks' food-pinching performance

by Super Contributor on ‎03-25-2016 09:12 AM - edited on ‎03-25-2016 09:14 AM by Community Manager (839 Views)

As it is the Easter long weekend for many SAS users, I thought I’d have some fun rather than continuing with the modeling and forecasting posts; those come back next week. (Stay tuned!Chopsticks.jpg I’ve been working on some cool stuff!)


Meanwhle, I tried to find some open data on Peeps sold, chocolate sales, and bunny costume rentals. No luck.


Get the Data

I emailed my good friend Beverly Brown and she suggested FreeDataFriday_graphic.jpgusing the Chopstick data (found here).  I was unaware of this, but apparently Chinese food is a tradition for many Americans as it’s a type of restaurant commonly open over the various holidays. 


How to go about getting SAS University Edition

If you don’t already have University Edition, get it here and follow the instructions from the pdf carefully. If you need help with almost any aspect of using University Edition, check out these video tutorials. Additional resources are available in this article.


Getting the data ready

Not much was involved in preparing the data; it was a straight import and nothing else was needed. 


The Code

As we’re taking it easy this week, I’m going to cover one of the more basic, yet useful, tasks and see what we can uncover. 

First, let’s run the basic Summary Statistics task. Although the journal article (yes, a journal article) talks about two distinct groups of students (college and primary), that data is not part of the data set, so true analyses are not possible. 




The Results

We get a nice clean output, including Mean, Standard Deviation etc. 




When I go under Options, I see there is a huge variety of options – I deselect the ones we’ve already seen and pick the new ones.




When I run this now, I get a very different, but comprehensive list of statistics for each of the different chopstick lengths. 




Based on the simple analyses we’ve performed, if I had to pick a chopstick that I would want to use, I’d go with the 240mm length; it had the highest mean, and although it didn’t have the highest Minimum value, the Maximum was well above all the rest. 


In the abstract for the journal article, the authors say:


The results showed that the food-pinching performance was significantly affected by the length of the chopsticks, and that chopsticks of about 240 and 180 mm long were optimal for adults and pupils, respectively.


If the age variable was available, it would have been interesting to have that added layer that we could have used.  I wonder if the same outcome would have been obvious to us that the authors found. Clearly the 240mm length was the preferred length, and because the mean was so much higher than the rest, I wonder what the difference between the two groups would have been. 


Now it’s your turn!


Did you find something else interesting in this data? Share in the comments. I’m glad to answer any questions.


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Happy Learning!



by Community Manager
on ‎03-25-2016 02:48 PM

Seems like a good candidate for the Improbable Research journal (and the Ig Nobel prize!)  Would not be the first chopsticks-related entry...

by Super Contributor
on ‎03-25-2016 02:58 PM

@ChrisHemedinger I was surprised at the level of research done on them - shape, tip angle, even kinematics analysis of using them!


Darn now I want some chicken balls :-)

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