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Psychology Practical Experiment - Hypothesis - Participants who are taking part in a timed computer task in front of an audience would complete the task faster than participants without an audience

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Introduction

Psychology Practical Experiment Hypothesis Participants who are taking part in a timed computer task in front of an audience would complete the task faster than participants without an audience Null Hypothesis Participants who are taking part in a timed computer task in front of an audience would complete the task slower than participants without an audience Design An experiment is an investigation where the independent variable is manipulated. The dependant variable in my experiment is the time in which the task is completed in. The independent variable is if an audience is present or not. This experiment is an independent measures design where there are different people in different conditions. Participants The population will be taken from the sixth form common room. They will be an opportunity sample. This is when people are asked if they want to participate in the experiment. There will be 20 people in the sample with two groups of 10. The sample will be randomly allocated to a condition by giving each participant a number 1-20 each relating to a certain condition. Procedure Students will be approached in the sixth form common room. They will be asked if they would like to participate in my psychological experiment. They will be told they will have to complete a computer task and that if they had any questions they should ask me. ...read more.

Middle

In his study people were asked to pronounce words between one and sixteen times, some of the words were more "dominant" than others, and these were said to be pronounced more frequently. The speed at which the words were shown was increased some going at even a hundredth of a second, so they had to guess the word. The results found that if a audience was present participants were more likely to guess "dominant" words Allport asked participants to write down as many associations as they could think of for words printed on the top of an otherwise blank piece of paper, (e.g. "building", ""laboratory") They were allowed to work for three one minute periods and performed alone and in front of two other persons. Results were quite clear : 93% of the participants produced more associations when working in the presence of others than working alone. Zajonc also trained cockroaches to run towards a light in a clear lucite t-maze. An "audience box" was located beneath the t-maze where the 'roach marathoners could see, and presumably smell, their colleagues. 'Roaches ran their t-mazes faster and more accurately with an audience of their fellow 'roaches than when no audience was present. Results Audience Present Group 1 No Audience Present Group 2 1 120 107 2 100 117 3 95 105 4 105 144 5 89 121 6 123 125 7 105 101 ...read more.

Conclusion

There were no ethical issues brought up as all participants were debriefed after they had carried out the experiment, although the participants may have felt a bit embarrassed if they had scored a low score in front of the audience. I could also not control the mood of the audience, for example when some people were doing well in the task they were cheering but when people were doing not so well they were not so vocal. My results have found that the effect of social facilitation can increase the performance of people when carrying out tasks as mentioned in Zajonc's and Allport's work, but it cannot always be applied to everyday tasks as a persons individual skill at that task to just pure luck can also take effect of the outcome. I could modify my experiment so that I could have the same people carrying out the 2 conditions, I could have also chosen a different task which was not demanding on computer skills. I can also vary the size of the sample I used as it would give me more data to analyse and give more confounding results. I could also use a wider age of people to see if the effect of social facilitation has greater or lower effect on older people's ability to carry out tasks. ...read more.

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