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I am going to design and then carry out an experiment to test people's reaction times, and therefore test my initial hypothesis.

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Introduction

Mathematics Statistics Coursework I am going to design and then carry out an experiment to test people's reaction times, and therefore test my initial hypothesis. Initial Hypothesis: Some people have faster reaction times than others To design my investigation, I first need to carry out a preliminary test, to see what variables there are, and how I will control them. To test reaction times, I dropped a special piece of card, with numbers along it recording how many hundredths of a second it takes for the person to drop it. From the information gained by this test, I set my main rules. Variable How I will control it Distance between fingers and ruler Ruler must be parallel to finger and thumb with a 3cm gap. I decided on 3cm as this was the same width as the ruler. Weight of the ruler All the rulers used will be the same type, and therefore the same weight and shape. Health of participant Unfortunately, this cannot easily be controlled, though I presume that anyone ill would not be in school, and therefore not take the test. This means that hopefully everyone taking part will be quite healthy Where the measurement is read from I will make sure this is read from above the thumb Hand used to catch ruler (dominant/non-dominant) I will test the ruler five times on each hand Time of day I will do the test once in the morning and once in the afternoon, as I saw in my preliminary test Oral/tactile/visual stimulation The participants will be prompted by visual stimulation only. Therefore the test will be carried out in silence and the participant and the 'dropper' will not make contact. ...read more.

Middle

12 20 16 8 28 12 9 11.5 11.5 8 29 16 18 15.5 15 8 30 20.5 19 22 23 10 31 18.5 16 20.5 17.5 10 32 22 23 22 21.5 10 33 23.5 22.5 16.5 23.5 10 34 18 17 20.5 16 10 35 15.5 14.5 16 21 10 36 14 15 16.5 16.5 10 37 9 13 12.5 16.5 10 38 18.25 19.5 18.5 20 10 39 18 19 18.5 19 10 40 30 30 24.5 30 10 41 18 17.5 0 19.5 10 42 19 18 16 18 10 43 18.5 15.5 18 17 10 44 17 16 17.5 15 10 45 17 20 19.5 16 11 46 16 16 15.5 19 11 47 15.5 19.5 18 17 11 48 17 16 18 19 11 49 14 14.5 17 14 11 50 19 20 15.5 15 11 51 13 17 18 15 11 52 23 19.5 22.5 24.5 11 53 15 12 15 21 11 54 18 17 15.3 17 11 55 11.5 7 13.5 14.5 11 56 17 17 19 19 11 57 21 18.5 21 21 11 58 14.5 21 14 18 11 59 18 17 18.5 18 11 60 17.5 19.5 21 14.5 Best Time for Each Pupil Year Pupil Dominant AM Non Dominant AM Dominant PM Non Dominant PM 7 1 17.5 12 0 13 7 2 10 0 0 13 7 3 15.5 11 15 15.15 7 4 10 5 0 10 7 5 19 12 15 7 7 6 14 5 14.5 6 7 7 5 9 8.5 6 7 8 5 6 8 7 7 9 17.5 15.5 22 15 7 10 7 5 12 10.5 7 11 5 7 6 19 7 12 14 6 ...read more.

Conclusion

I predict that the results should be around the same as which school you attend should not affect whether or not your reaction times are quicker in the morning than in the afternoon. The results were as follows.. Median Time for Each Pupil Year Pupil Dominant AM Non Dominant AM Dominant PM Non Dominant PM 8 1 13 16 15 18 10 2 14.5 19 17 23 11 3 6 8 6.5 9 These results show that girls aged 11-16 have quicker reaction times in the morning than in the afternoon. However, to really prove this, I would need to take reaction times from many more girls aged 11-16 across the country. If I had had more time, I would have looked into whether or not the same hypothesis could be proved in males aged 11-16. I would also have seen if age made a difference, for example would people aged 71-76 have slower reaction times than those aged 11-16. I could have looked at all sorts of aspects (age, gender, environment etc) and seen how these altered reaction times. The variables I listed at the beginning could have been altered to see how this affected reaction times. I might also have taken certain measures to ensure my data was more accurate. For example I could have... * taken a larger sample size- in a larger sample, trends would have been easier to identify * made the participants repeat the experiment more than 5 times for each dominant and non dominant in am and pm. * used a computerized device to measure the reaction times- results such as it taking some participants 0 hundredths of a second are clearly not possible and therefore inaccurate, showing how easy it is for human error to take place ...read more.

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