Devising experiments

I was wondering how people on the forums tend to come up with things they want to track. Diet, fitness, and productivity are all popular topics in the news, but where do you get inspiration from for possible experiments to run or even things to check?

For myself, I’ve typically gotten ideas after seeing what others have done, but I feel like I’m still mostly in a mode of replicating others’ experiments to see what works for me, rather than exploring genuinely new ideas.

The endless stream of health or fitness advice (or fads?) in the media is a good source of inspiration for me, after filtering out anything that:

  1. isn’t relevant to me (e.g. weight loss tips)
  2. doesn’t lend itself to an n=1 experiment (e.g. does x reduce cancer risk?)
  3. requires to much effort (e.g. manual logging over a long period of time) or expense (e.g. blood tests)

Keep in mind that if you’re in good health, small tweaks rarely produce (statistically or practically) significant effects, and you’re also quite unlikely to discover something new and win a physiology Nobel prize :slight_smile: