Saturday, May 23, 2009

Regression Effect

Journal Entry: Weight = 174.4; Coinage = $2.45, 70 pennies, 1 nickel, 7 dimes, 4 quarters; Glass bottles retrieved = 3; Ground Scores =7. Find of the day was the amount. .28 was from a residual walk from yesterday, but still finding $2.17 on one walk is fun.

Note: The apparatus on the right is a mechanical coin device found in newspaper stands. I found it using Google. I wanted to better understand how money is left in newspaper stands. Sorry, I read the mechanics and it was still too complicated to grasp. The best I could tell sometimes coins are "read" correctly, but drop in the coin return by accident. Thus, the reader is unaware that money has been left behind.

Feature Entry: Several good stories emerged from this successful money walk. First, .60 (2 quarters & 1 dime) were found after I walked away from a pay phone. Already across the street, I remembered that I had not looked on the ground. Back I went, and under blades of thick St. Augustine grass, a hint of a coin was detected. With a probe, out popped 2 quarters and one dime. Then I found a wheat penny. A little later, I rechecked a funky area near a local university where students hang out. Being Saturday, I scratched around and found 36 pennies and a quarter. After reaching my end-point, I retracted the same area I had just walked and found four pennies that I had walked over previously. Tiring of the redundancy, I re-crossed the street and found a quarter in a most unlikely spot as I crossed the street.

Some days, like yesterday’s .31, you can’t find squat; and then the next day a splendid find of $2.17 occurs. In statistics this is called the regression effect, one outlier followed immediately by another in the opposite direction, a regression to the mean.

It is the same with weight control. Give me a few good scale readings and if I am not careful, some excuse will come up that leads to overindulging in eating and the scales bounce right back in the other direction. To avoid the regression effect is eating we must remember moderation and portion control. We can use cognitive override to avoid negative food indulgence rationalizations. A lowering trend on the scales is not justification for a fried food or chocolate candy binge party.



  1. What?? That last sentence.... Part of the reason that I numismatize is so that I might enjoy the chocolate candy binge party!

    And by the way, I can ALWAYS find a way to justify chocolate!

  2. Numi, I like my chocolate binges as well. As a result, I will never reach my 168 goal. But with our aggressive walking/jogging schedule we can still look good in blue jeans. Happy Memorial Day.