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Duke professors challenge term "miles per gallon"
The News & Observer (NC) ^ | June 19, 2008 | Eric Ferreri

Posted on 06/19/2008 11:50:26 AM PDT by MaestroLC

Some Duke professors are challenging the conventional "miles per gallon" terminology employed by the automobile industry.

Researchers with Duke's Fuqua School of Business say that posting a vehicle's fuel efficiency in "gallons per mile" rather than "miles per gallon" would help motorists make better decisions when buying a new car.

The study will appear in the June 20 issue of Science magazine. It was inspired by a debate professors Richard Larrick and Jack Soll had while carpooling in a hybrid car, according to a Duke press release.

The two management professors ran experiments showing current "miles per gallon" terminology led consumers to think fuel consumption goes down at an even rate as efficiency improves.

(Excerpt) Read more at newsobserver.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: academia; duke; energy; gallon; gas; professors
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1 posted on 06/19/2008 11:50:26 AM PDT by MaestroLC
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To: MaestroLC

How about “furlongs per quid” instead?............


2 posted on 06/19/2008 11:52:09 AM PDT by Red Badger (NOBODY MOVE!!!!.......I dropped me brain............................)
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To: MaestroLC

“It was inspired by a debate professors Richard Larrick and Jack Soll had while carpooling in a hybrid car.”

The all-Steisand station on XM must have been on the fritz that day


3 posted on 06/19/2008 11:53:45 AM PDT by wilco200 (Typical White Person)
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To: MaestroLC

“It was inspired by a debate professors Richard Larrick and Jack Soll had while carpooling in a hybrid car,...”

Well, that guarantees the idea is good. While they are at it, they should say the fuel use should be expressed in metric system format too. We all know how conversant Americans are with that. How about expressing horsepower in kilograms or joules too.


4 posted on 06/19/2008 11:54:51 AM PDT by RicocheT
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To: MaestroLC

Management profs, eh? Figures. Same type of clowns who have destroyed Detroit, sent all of our electronics production overseas, and still can’t pass an elementary math course.


5 posted on 06/19/2008 11:55:30 AM PDT by Da Coyote
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To: MaestroLC

Wouldn’t you have to convince people that smaller numbers are better? I’d guess people have a natural tendency to prefer bigger numbers.


6 posted on 06/19/2008 11:55:38 AM PDT by conejo99
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To: MaestroLC
"Brainless creatures composed almost entirely of water..."
7 posted on 06/19/2008 11:55:40 AM PDT by BenLurkin
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To: MaestroLC
Can't someone transfer one ratio to the other with basic some math?
8 posted on 06/19/2008 11:55:41 AM PDT by Borges
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To: MaestroLC

Hmmm, so two college professors want to turn a well-known number upside down. That will confuse people quite nicely, though all it will do is turn a number like 25 into 4%. Nothing else changed.

Quite the liberal solution: do nothing except confuse every ordinary person.


9 posted on 06/19/2008 11:55:47 AM PDT by BelegStrongbow (what part of 'mias gunaikos andra' do Episcopalians not understand?)
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To: MaestroLC

So my car uses .026 gallons per mile on the highway.

If I could only get that down to .020.

They must be tenured professors.


10 posted on 06/19/2008 11:57:38 AM PDT by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: MaestroLC

I suppose this is at least a little better than falsely accusing lacrosse players of rape.


11 posted on 06/19/2008 11:57:57 AM PDT by jpl ("Don't tell me words don't matter." - Barack Obama, via Deval Patrick)
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To: MaestroLC

12 posted on 06/19/2008 11:58:04 AM PDT by PBRSTREETGANG
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To: MaestroLC

You know, I like the sound of Teeter-Harris better than Harris-Teeter.

Perhaps I should ask these two professors?


13 posted on 06/19/2008 11:58:11 AM PDT by RexBeach
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To: MaestroLC

Because saying 0.03333 gallons per mile is just sooooo much easier to say!

Do these people have a brain extraction done at their tenure hearing?


14 posted on 06/19/2008 11:58:18 AM PDT by ex 98C MI Dude (All of my hate cannot be found, I will not be drowned by your constant scheming)
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To: Borges

Who teaches math these days?

There’s no time between teaching Secular Humanism and putting condoms on cucumbers.

The obviously weren’t math professors, the thought of inverting the ratio so that it would be clearer wouldn’t even have occurred to someone with a logically trained brain.


15 posted on 06/19/2008 11:58:41 AM PDT by MrB (You can't reason people out of a position that they didn't use reason to get into in the first place)
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To: MaestroLC

Leave it to a bunch of liberals, when things get tough, to rearrange the deck chairs.


16 posted on 06/19/2008 11:58:57 AM PDT by fish hawk (Silence is often misinterpreted but never misquoted.)
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To: MaestroLC

“30 mpg” sure sounds better then “.033 gpm”


17 posted on 06/19/2008 12:00:43 PM PDT by Michael.SF. ("They're not Americans. They're liberals! "-- Ann Coulter, May 15, 2008)
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To: MaestroLC

I’m speechless.


18 posted on 06/19/2008 12:02:01 PM PDT by American Quilter (John McCain--today's Scoop Jackson democrat. He should change parties.)
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To: MaestroLC

I prefer hours of operation per pound of fuel.


19 posted on 06/19/2008 12:03:29 PM PDT by MeanWestTexan (Kol Hakavod Mossad!)
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To: ex 98C MI Dude
Because saying 0.03333 gallons per mile is just sooooo much easier to say!

Or, 3.33E-2 gal/mile. That's easy to remember!

20 posted on 06/19/2008 12:03:51 PM PDT by 6SJ7
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To: 6SJ7
What do you mean keep it simple?

How else can we keep the unwashed yokels dazzled by out *Bullshit?

*BULLSHIT

21 posted on 06/19/2008 12:05:30 PM PDT by Publius6961 (You're Government, it's not your money, and you never have to show a profit.)
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To: 6SJ7
What do you mean keep it simple?

How else can we keep the unwashed yokels dazzled by out *Bullshit?

*BULLSHIT

22 posted on 06/19/2008 12:05:43 PM PDT by Publius6961 (You're Government, it's not your money, and you never have to show a profit.)
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To: Borges
Can't someone transfer one ratio to the other with some basic math?

Interesting. Where might one send one's children for instruction in this "math" technique?

/s :-)
23 posted on 06/19/2008 12:06:00 PM PDT by LearsFool ("Thou shouldst not have been old, till thou hadst been wise.")
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To: MaestroLC

I think they prefer “kilometers per liter”. ;)


24 posted on 06/19/2008 12:06:35 PM PDT by Mr. Jeeves ("One man's 'magic' is another man's engineering. 'Supernatural' is a null word." -- Robert Heinlein)
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To: MaestroLC

I remember participating in those debates:

Joe: “How about we don’t think about miles per gallon anymore and start thinking about gallons per mile so that people really have to stop and think about it.”

Bill: “Wow, man that is like really deep. I see where you are coming from!.....You gonna hog that doobie all night?”


25 posted on 06/19/2008 12:08:09 PM PDT by Bob Buchholz
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To: holdonnow

FYI, Mark. :)


26 posted on 06/19/2008 12:08:38 PM PDT by MaestroLC ("Let him who wants peace prepare for war."--Vegetius, A.D. Fourth Century)
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To: LearsFool

The best place would be your own kitchen table, IMHO.


27 posted on 06/19/2008 12:08:58 PM PDT by MrB (You can't reason people out of a position that they didn't use reason to get into in the first place)
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To: Red Badger

And measure speed in “furlongs per fortnight”.


28 posted on 06/19/2008 12:10:23 PM PDT by wordsofearnest ("The fundamental solution (w/b) that there is no longer any need to immigrate")
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To: MaestroLC

Some of us would prefer horsepower to be listed.


29 posted on 06/19/2008 12:10:38 PM PDT by SouthTexas (If you are not living on the edge, you are taking up too much space!)
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To: MaestroLC

These guy would have a coronary if the new the gallons per mile a dragster or funny car got.


30 posted on 06/19/2008 12:10:41 PM PDT by Lx ((Do you like it, do you like it. Scott? I call it Mr. and Mrs. Tennerman chili.))
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To: MaestroLC
The two management professors ran experiments showing current "miles per gallon" terminology led consumers to think fuel consumption goes down at an even rate as efficiency improves.

While the inverse would be so confusing as to prevent the consumer from making any assumptions...

31 posted on 06/19/2008 12:11:37 PM PDT by Tanniker Smith (Teachers open the door. It's up to you to enter.)
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To: MaestroLC

I guess they could use that when figuring the mileage of the M1A2 main battle tank.

0.6 miles per gallon


32 posted on 06/19/2008 12:12:18 PM PDT by Arrowhead1952 (A vote for any Democrat from BO on down the ticket is a vote for $10 a gallon gas.)
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To: Da Coyote
...and still can’t pass an elementary math course.

Which is why "new math" was invented...

33 posted on 06/19/2008 12:12:51 PM PDT by okie01 (THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA: Ignorance on Parade)
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To: MaestroLC

Stupid lib professors as they may well be, this is an overdue idea.

How many people know that the real difference between 14 and 18 mpg is the same as the difference between 30 mpg and 70?

The rest of the world uses fuel per distance for a reason.


34 posted on 06/19/2008 12:13:17 PM PDT by CGTRWK
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To: ex 98C MI Dude
Do these people have a brain extraction done at their tenure hearing? a college professor from France will be renting my house next year, he will be teaching at Stanford. He said he was shocked at the tenure system in the US - he said they are so busy writing papers and trying to make tenure, no one is teaching anything.
35 posted on 06/19/2008 12:13:53 PM PDT by SF Republican
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To: MaestroLC
It's really to bad that so many political conservatives have to go on and be mentally conservative.
36 posted on 06/19/2008 12:16:31 PM PDT by mc6809e
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To: ex 98C MI Dude
Old story in academia: There is a certain marine invertebrate that is free-swimming in its larval form, but when it becomes an adult, it attaches itself to a rock and filter-feeds. It then digests its central nervous system because it no longer needs it. This process is similar to getting tenure.
37 posted on 06/19/2008 12:16:41 PM PDT by megatherium
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To: MaestroLC

I think some Duke professors have too much time on their hands!


38 posted on 06/19/2008 12:16:51 PM PDT by lil'bit
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To: MaestroLC

Duke evidently employs Dorks.


39 posted on 06/19/2008 12:17:43 PM PDT by TexGuy (If it has the slimmest of chances of being considered sarcasm ... IT IS!)
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To: Tanniker Smith
While the inverse would be so confusing as to prevent the consumer from making any assumptions...

Did you read the article?

How can you say that the inverse is more confusing? The inverse allowed people to make better judgements.

40 posted on 06/19/2008 12:19:42 PM PDT by mc6809e
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To: MaestroLC
That is really beyond stupid.

In the first place, anybody who doesn't realize that an increase from 18 mpg to 28 mpg is a better improvement in efficiency than 36 mpg to 50 mpg is a dope, and changing to the reciprocal isn't going to help him.

In the second place, nobody comparison shopping cars is looking at vehicles with 18-28 mpg range and vehicles with 36-50 mpg range.

Third, The comparison is invariably between several cars, with one car being the clear winner: Car A gets 16 mpg, Car B gets 18 mpg and Car C gets 19 mpg. "Wait! I know you think I ought to buy Car C on the basis of gas mileage, but I won't, because based on an idiotic conversation between two Duke Professors in a carpool, B is actually a much bigger improvement on A than C is on B. So B is really better."

Uh. huh.

"Most amps only go up to ten. Most blokes' plays only ten, but these go up to eleven. It's more, see? It's higher. It's eleven."

Blonde is as blonde does. Conclusion: Congress will almost certainly mandate that all new cars have the newer, "better" gpm * 100 rating. So it goes...

41 posted on 06/19/2008 12:19:48 PM PDT by FredZarguna (I'm taking Grandma's advice and I'm holding my nose, John, stop sticking your finger down my throat.)
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To: MaestroLC
Here's the main point of the article:

For example, most people said an increase from 34 to 50 mpg saved more gas over 10,000 miles than an increase from 18 to 28 mpg, even though the latter saves twice as much gas, according to the Duke press release. (Going from 34 to 50 mpg saves 94 gallons; but going from 18 to 28 mpg saves 198 gallons).

These mistaken impressions were corrected, however, when participants were presented with fuel efficiency expressed in gallons used per 100 miles. Viewed this way, 18 mpg becomes 5.5 gallons per 100 miles, and 28 mpg is 3.6 gallons per 100 miles -- an $8 difference today.

This actually makes some sense...but only because people are stupid about math. Going from 34mpg to 50mpg is an increase of 47.06% while 18mpg to 28mpg is an increase of 55.6%. It should be obvious but people don't do the math. Gallons per 100 miles does eliminate the need to do the math and would certainly appeal to Democrats who can't do it anyway...

42 posted on 06/19/2008 12:22:17 PM PDT by Wyatt's Torch (I can explain it to you. I can't understand it for you.)
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To: Tanniker Smith

The inverse is confusing?

Quick, how much gas do you need to drive 10,000 annual miles in a car that gets 17, 27, or 37 miles per gallon? At $4 per gallon how much more expensive is 27 mpg against 37 mpg?

Most people would need a piece of paper and a minute. An alarming number of people couldn’t tell you with a piece of paper and five minutes.

How about the same question using the same cars rated at 59, 37 and 27 gallons / 1000 miles respectively?

You can answer that in a few seconds without a pencil.


43 posted on 06/19/2008 12:22:25 PM PDT by CGTRWK
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To: BenLurkin

You owe my employer a keyboard, Ben!

Thanks for the outloud, belly-shaking GUFFAW this afternoon!


44 posted on 06/19/2008 12:22:55 PM PDT by Cletus.D.Yokel
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To: MaestroLC; All
Duke- losing reputation by the minute.
45 posted on 06/19/2008 12:27:28 PM PDT by truthguy (Good intentions are not enough!)
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To: MaestroLC

What’s this all about? When you’re buying a car you know that the very best get something like 35-45 MPG (highway) and the worst get 10-15 MPG (highway) and if you’re getting 20 you’re doing OK and if you’re getting 30 you’re doing reasonably well....


46 posted on 06/19/2008 12:30:33 PM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Will the dancing Hitlers please wait in the wings? We're only seeing singing Hitlers.)
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To: RicocheT
Well, that guarantees the idea is good. While they are at it, they should say the fuel use should be expressed in metric system format too. We all know how conversant Americans are with that. How about expressing horsepower in kilograms or joules too.

See. This is why conservatives are so reviled by today's more-educated youth.

You ridicule two educated people that tested their "crazy" idea, and found experimental support for their position. Yet your comment reveals that don't even know the difference between power, mass, and energy.

47 posted on 06/19/2008 12:31:27 PM PDT by mc6809e
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To: Wyatt's Torch
This actually makes some sense...but only because people are stupid about math. Going from 34mpg to 50mpg is an increase of 47.06% while 18mpg to 28mpg is an increase of 55.6%. It should be obvious but people don't do the math.

That may be what's obvious to many people, but it's also wrong and that's exactly the point.

Improving from 18 to 28 mpg saves 111% more fuel - and money to pay for same - than improving from 34 to 50.

Not 8.6% better (55.6 - 47.06). Not 18% better (55.6 / 47.06). 111% better (1/18-1/28)/(1/34-1/50).

48 posted on 06/19/2008 12:31:36 PM PDT by CGTRWK
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To: MaestroLC
Photobucket
49 posted on 06/19/2008 12:34:19 PM PDT by Cobra64 (www.BulletBras.net)
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To: FredZarguna
In the first place, anybody who doesn't realize that an increase from 18 mpg to 28 mpg is a better improvement in efficiency than 36 mpg to 50 mpg is a dope, and changing to the reciprocal isn't going to help him.

And yet, in experiments with real people, it actually does help.

How do you explain your thoughtless, off-the-cuff remark in light of the experimental evidence?

50 posted on 06/19/2008 12:36:17 PM PDT by mc6809e
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