Saturday, April 9

R.I.P. Webvan

An article about the revived popularity of online grocery shopping in the NY Times contains this passage:
Few people anywhere seem to enjoy grocery shopping. In a 2004 national survey of happiness among women published in Science magazine, grocery shopping ranked 27th of 28 daily activities, beating out only cleaning.

However, the author doesn't specifically cite the study, nor put the conclusion into context. A bit of googling reveals that the study was conducted on a sample of 909 employed women in Texas who had worked the day of the inquiry.

Doesn't this requirement of having worked on the reference day skew the NYT's interpretation of the results? Of course grocery shopping is going to be viewed as a more arduous chore if it's being doing on way home from work, rather than as the preparation for a leisurely weekend meal. And maybe part of the reason that it was such an unpopular activity, for women in Texas, is that they have to fight for parking at the Wal-Mart Supercenter, a concern not likely to be shared in Manhattan.