Macro or Micro: Which Approach is Best?

XPRIZE is considering two different potential pathways for the data challenge:
(a) By adopting a macro approach, XPRIZE will incentivize teams to propose innovative methods for collecting descriptive epidemiological and complex contextual data on depression and related cultural concepts of distress to answer the question: why do women disproportionately suffer?

(b) By adopting a micro approach, XPRIZE will incentivize teams to collect data that leads to improved local efforts in a specific area (i.e. postpartum depression).

Which approach do you think is best, and why?

Is there an alternative approach you think we should consider? If so, what is it?

Hello @sadiew, @Suneetharani, @panderekha, @bwilcher, and @ktabb - Macro or micro - which pathway is best for this challenge according to you. Please let us know what you think. Thanks.

I think we have a false dichotomy here. The better way to conceptualize the issue is (1) Do we need global data, about the society as a whole either as an explanatory variable or a dependent variable to address the question of (e.g.) post partum depression? Do we need aggregate data (data about the smallest units of analysis such as individual women) to understand the issue of (e.g.) post partum depression. The answer may be both. Let me illustrate with an historical example. The Salem witch hunt of the seventeenth century in Massachusetts Bay Colony resulted in the death of several women accused of witchcraft. One of their accusers or maybe more (my memory fails me) had visions of these women consorting with the devil, I believe the accuser was a young female who we now believe was poisoned by ingesting some spoiled rye flour. The illness that resulted included hysteria of some sort according to the hypothesis. Suppose now we wanted to look at women accused of witchcraft and punished , including put to death across time and countries. The global independent variable data might be “diet includes rye or other grains that might be affected by the pathogen that caused the hysteria.” The aggregate data might be gender of the people put to death as a dependent variable, gender of the accusers etc. The global data might ber either a main explanatory variable or an intermediate variable. But the study would be both a study of aggregate data across time and societies and a macro study because some of the dependent variables could be global characteristics if that is regarded as significant for study purposes. The bottom line is the XPRIZE executives and Board must decide what they want the study to cover and agree on a budget sufficient to cover the costs. I see no technical issues standing in the way of doing both kinds of studies as this is really an issue of what serves the mission of XPRIZE best.

Thanks @boblf029 for sharing your thoughts.

Hi @pepsicola28, @jpayne5, @gmterwindt, @lmo17, @KateH and @MarioCardanoItaly - Macro or micro, which pathway is best for this challenge according to you? Share your thoughts. Thanks.

Hi @JennaArnold, @Cristina, @farah, @mhackett, @Mohammadimr - Please let us know what do you think, which pathway is best for maximum impact. Thanks.

I think mixed method of Macro and micro, is better.

Why not offer both options? Two prizes. Both questions are important.