What assumptions are you making without even knowing it? Are those assumptions preventing you from seeing real solutions to your challenges?
When TV shows like "16 and Pregnant” and “Teen Mom" launched, critics contended that those shows glorified teen pregnancy. They believed that starstruck young women would want to emulate what they saw on TV - much like young men imitated the Jackass stunts.
But data shows that the opposite is true. Professors Melissa Kearney of the University of Maryland and Phillip Levine of Wellesley College found that "16 and Pregnant” actually motivates teens to learn about birth control (pdf). In fact, searches and tweets about birth control spike every time a new episode is released! Their data reveals that shows like "16 and Pregnant” and "Teen Mom" have caused a 5.7% reduction in the teenage birthrate (approximately 20,000 fewer teen moms each year).
This is a perfect example of how Big Data proves our assumptions wrong - and shows new opportunities for innovation. If highlighting the struggles of teen moms on a TV show prevents other teens from becoming pregnant, what are other ways to show teens what their life would be like if they had a baby? Definitely food for thought!
Image Credit: tipstimes.com/pregnancy