I just finished the second phase of the experiment which I began in early June and wrote about again here after finishing the first phase. (Making links to my earlier blog posts is really fun. I have no idea why, but it is.) For the last twenty days, I have been attempting to memorize a string of twenty digits in a minute twice each day, thereby attaining forty data points. For twenty of these, I put my hand on my face while I was trying to remember the numbers, and for the other twenty, I kept my hands away from my face. The point of this experiment was to discover whether or not I think better when my hands are on my face, and I was really hoping that the answer would be yes. It would be very convenient if I could instantly make myself smarter just by putting my hand on my face.

Actually, the real reason for this experiment was to give me a reason to tape stuff like this to my walls. The important thing here is interior design. My room looks very elegant decorated like this.

Unfortunately, just like in the first phase of this experiment, my results were inconclusive. Although there did seem to be trends in the results, the actual calculations revealed that the trends weren’t large enough to actually prove anything. The differences could conceivably have been due to random chance. I think it’s worth noting, though, that this time the results were almost good enough to be statistically significant. The trends probably mean something, even though I don’t have good enough evidence to insist that they definitely do. And what the trends show is that I remember stuff better when my hands are on my face. I definitely intend to make use of this information when I’m taking the GRE in two weeks.

Now I just have to decide what the next phase of this experiment is, because I don’t want to give up this delightfully fun game.