Quote of the Day
The Soviets are our adversary. Our enemy is the Navy.
— Curtis LeMay, General, US Air Force. Anyone who has worked on a US military defense contract knows about interservice rivalry. General LeMay was the prototype for General Turgidson in the movie Dr. Strangelove.
Updated 16-Aug-2017. I added all the episodes to date. I have also began filling in the table with new data like weight loss, military experience, and the type of build the men have. It will take time but I will eventually get all this data filled in.
I do not watch much reality television, but one show I do watch is Naked and Afraid (N&A). I have always been interested in primitive survival skills (e.g. I have blogged about knot tying and rigging), and this show really puts those skills to the test. I like the fact that the participants are presented with survival challenges from around the world (Figure 1). They have been on all the continents but Antarctica – I could not imagine someone surviving naked in Antarctica for any length of time.
While watching N&A recently, my wife sat down with me and made some observations that I thought I could test. Here were her questions:
- Are the women younger than the men?
I had not thought about it until my wife mentioned it, but the women do seem younger than the men.
- Do the women have lower Primitive Survival Rating (PSR) scores than the men?
It does seem like the women have lower PSR scores than the men. That may be a function of the women being younger than the men, or the fact that the rubric is heavily weighted toward the kinds of employment that men tend to have.
- Is the start-to-finish PSR change for men the same as for women?
My personal feeling is that the women start out lower and end up lower, but this should be easy to test.
I gathered all the data on the participants that I could, which was more difficult than you might think.
- Primitive Survival Rating (PSR)
- A metric for evaluating an individual’s level of primitive survival skills on a scale from 1 to 10. The show’s producers say about the metric is that it is established by a team of experts who evaluate the participants at the beginning and end of each episode, but they do not provide a rubric for its evaluation. People who regularly watch the show can see that the metric is heavily weighted toward people who regularly practice their survival skills – such as survival educators.
I gathered all the data into a spreadsheet (here) and imported the data into R. I then used ggplot2 to plot the data. I tend to use box plots, which I find quickly give me a good feel for the distribution of the data.
I should comment on notation. Box plots show the median as a dark bar in the “center” of the plot. I also like to include an annotation for the distribution mean, for which I use the symbol μ.
Are the Women Younger Than The Men?
On average, yes (Figure 2) by about 3 years.
Do the Men Have Higher PSRs Than the Women?
On average, yes (Figure 3) by about 0.65. This difference seems to maintain from start to finish.
Note that the mean and median for the women are quite different from each other.
Is the Start-To-End PSR Change Same For Men and Women?
The average change is very similar, with women having a wider distribution (Figure 4).
I believe that I have answered my wife’s three questions. I do have some questions of my own that I want to address. One question that I have is whether the PSR difference between men and women has any correlation with the fact that the women are younger. This will be a subject for a later post.