The Built Environment

For this study, students were told to take field notes about the built environment of downtown Fredericksburg. These field notes widely ranged to include looking at how building have changed over the year and how they are used today, and the comparison of two or more streets to see how they differ. For my field notes I analyzed the built environment of downtown Fredericksburg by focusing on one street, Caroline Street, and the store that inhabit it. More specifically, I looked at how five stores located on Caroline street were targeting certain groups of people. These stores included: Sugar and Spruce, Benny Vitali’s, Monkee’s, Sammy T’s, Irish Eyes, and Olde Town Tobacconist. These stores were chosen because they target very different people.

In terms of Sugar and Spruce, it is a store that sells bath products such as soaps and sugar scrubs. The interior of the store is very light with a feminine touch, and has female mannequins in the windows. Further more, women in there mid twenties to upper sixties were seen entering and exiting the store. This indicates that the store is targeting young and older female adults. Furthermore, the prices were also quite high, indicating that the store does not cater to younger women, such as high schoolers.

The second place was Benny Vitali’s. Benny Vitali’s is a store that sell pizza. The interior of the shop is very casual , with loud music playing throughout. There were also people of all ages coming in and out of the store and prices are quite low so that even a young high schooler can afford it. This indicates that the stores targets people of all ages with it’s low prices and laid back vibe.

Unlike Benny Vitali’s, Irish Eyes is a specialty shop that sells products from Ireland. This store contains other Irish memorabilia that shown throughout the front of the store. There were also people with backpacks and other tourists entering and leaving the store. Based on his information, it is apparent that the store is targeting tourist. Along with this, the prices are also high enough that they are also targeting older adults who can afford their products.

Another store that was analyzed was Olde Towne Tobacconist. The store features products such as tobacco, cigarettes, and pipes. The interior is also dark and has a strong scent of tobacco. Based on the products being sold, it is apparent that they are targeting an older generation that can legally smoke.

The fifth store analyzed was Sammy T’s. This shop is a restaurant that sells food. The interior is quite dark and there were people of all ages coming in and out of the restaurant. Based on this, it apparent that Sammy T’s targets everyone. They also have vegan food options which also means that they are also targeting people who are vegan.

The last place that was analyzed was Monkee’s. Monkee’s is a women’s clothing store that sells clothing as quite high prices. Multiple women who appear to be in their mid 30’s to upper 60’s were seen entering and leaving the store. Based on this, the store is targeting young female adults and older women who can afford the clothing being sold.

Based on the analysis of all the stores, it apparent that Caroline Street is a diverse area that targets multiple social groups. many of the store on this street either targeted and specified social group or were targeting all people.

Mini-Study on Chick-fil-a

Critical rationalism is a philosophy developed by Karl Popper, which emphasizes deductive reasoning and the falsification of hypotheses and theories. Critical rationalists start out with a theory, followed by a prediction that can be falsified in order to learn from one’s mistake. In my study, I decided to test the theory, “more people go to Chick-fil-a at the mall because they get their food faster.” My predication was, “If people go to Chick-fil-a, then they will get their food faster than other places at the mall.”

The experiment took place at the Spotsylvania Mall Food Court on February 5, 2020. The time I began collection was at 1:19pm and the weather was overcast and rainy. I was with no one else to complete this experiment.

For this experiment, three restaurants were tested. Theses restaurants were Chick-fil-a, Villa, and China Max. For each place, I used the timer on my phone to time how long it took for three customers at each food place to receive their food. The timer started when the customer left the register and stopped when the person received their food. Along with this, the number of people in line were also recorded. For Chick-fil-a their was 11 people in line, Villa had 5 people in line, and China Max had 5 people in line as well.

The results showed Chick-fil-a had a average time of 6 minutes, villa had 2 minutes, and China Max had 1 minute. Based on the results, it shows that the theory and prediction both were proven to be false. The reason why this may have occurred is because certain variable may not have bee taken into account. An example of one is the amount of food a person ordered. If a person ordered a considerable amount of food, it would take much longer for them to get their food than others who ordered less. Another variable could be the amount of people working behind the counter during the time data was collected. If there are less people, food may come out slower than with more people working. Since this theory and prediction was proven false, there must be other reasons as to why more people go to Chick-fil-a than the other food places at the mall. Some of these reasons could be that people like Chick-fil-a more than other places. Another reason could be it’s placement. Chick-fil-a is located at the front of the food court and people may not want to walk all the way down to the other end of the food court to get food at another place.

Based on Popper’s definition of a severe test, I can say that my experiment is not an example of a severe test. Even though the results did prove the theory and prediction wrong, there are so many variable and factors that it makes it difficult to create a conclusive severe test.