I’m at a crossroad

As a part of my thesis research I sent out a surveymonkey survey. I was overwhlemed and excited by the sheer number of responses to the survey, not to mention the quality of answers that came back. I know that in general surveys are annoying to receive and no one really wants to participate in one unless there’s a prize at the end or something like that…that being said, THANK YOU to everyone who took my survey!!!

I mentioned this at the start of my survey, but I have to let everyone else in on why I sent it out. Basically I have a few hypotheses about cooking that have been proven by my research thus far. And by research thus far, it’s been mostly internet research and polling those closest to me. I felt it was really important for me to find out on my own, with my own research whether my hypotheses are true or not, I want to know because it could shape and change the future of my thesis! So here’s what I went in thinking…

  1. I think people don’t cook at home
  2. I think people are more apt to choose convenience over quality
    I think people are afraid of cooking
    I think it’s a fear of failure (in the kitchen)
    I think it’s a fear of the unknown
  3. It’s a fear of something they’ve never done
  4. I think people don’t know how to cook
    …beacuase of a lack of skill (generating fear of failure/mistakes)
    …because a lack of language/vocabulary
    …because of a lack of technique (generating fear of the unknown)
    …because of a lack of knowledge of basics (generating fear)
  5. I think all people can cook
  6. I think people want to know how to cook
  7. I think people wish they “had time” to cook
  8. I don’t think people prioritize cooking
  9. I think, for some, the kitchen is a scary place
So with my research (so far 138 responded so that’s what I’m referring to as “my research” from this point forward), numbers 1 was proven mostly incorrect. According to my research, 90.6% of people say that they cook already! I did NOT anticipate that. Whether it was the population I was polling or not, it’s an overwhelming statement. When I first got the results back, I thought to myself, “well, there goes my entire thesis project”, really bumming out because my goal was to get people cooking at home…so if they’re already cooking at home, what the heck am I trying to do??? Then the blade went a bit deeper when I asked how many times a week they cook at home and the results again, were overwhelming. 46.4% of people are cooking at home 3-4 times a week and 28.3% are cooking at home 5-7 times a week. My original goal was to get people cooking at home 3-4 nights a week.
Ugh.
But alas, there is hope! I was surprised and excited with the answers to the next question however. When I asked if they were interested in learning how to cook or get better at cooking, the response was an astounding YES!!! with a 95.7% of people saying that they wanted to get better!What does this mean for me? Well, I’m not quite sure yet, but there are 2 directions I could take this and I need to think long and hard about where I want to take this. Option 1: I go with the majority of people and create a tool that is informative and intuitive, aiding them in the kitchen, providing adventure, alternatives and excitement in the kitchen. This option would be geared towards people that are already cooking but want to learn more (and there’s a lot of them…shoot, I’m one of them!). Option 2: Take the minority and take on the challenge of getting them into the kitchen and creating something that would alleviate pressure, fear and provide knowledge and assistance in the kitchen to get them off the ground.

There of course is a third option of incorporating both populations, but then that means that my thesis would have a pretty wide audience and could be difficult to narrow in on what I want to do and how I can best educate people in the kitchen. I’m at a crossroads. I don’t know what I’m going to do. I want to inspire people and allow them a freedom in the kitchen that they’ve never experienced before, but I also know there are a lot of tools out there already. So how do I create something that’s different, something innovative and inspiring? That is the question.

I want to learn how people learn. I want to know what inspires people to learn new things and what keeps them moving forward when things get tough. I want to know why people learn new things. I want to know how something can go from a mystery, to a like, to a hobby to a passion. i want to know what is an intuitive way of learning. i want to know what people want to learn in the kitchen!

Clearly this is becoming a novel, but you get the point. I want to know so many things, yet if I don’t narrow my scope, I’ll never be able to narrow down a direction to follow.

I stand at a crossroad, arms crossed, mind racing with excitement and possibility.

 

SURVEY:

You can take this survey if it’s something that interests you, but for the sake of moving forward I will have to move on to keep the research process going: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/TGQMWP7

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