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A comparison of the ability of males and females to control their attentional processes

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Introduction

A comparison of the ability of males and females to control their attentional processes Table of Contents Abstract 3 Aim 3 Procedure 3 Findings 3 Conclusion 3 Introduction 4 Formulation of Aims 5 Statement of Alternative Hypothesis (Directional) 5 Statement of Null Hypothesis 5 Method 6 Design 6 Participants 6 Materials 7 Procedure 7 Results 8 Inferential Statistics 9 Level of Significance 9 Discussion 10 Explanation of Findings 10 Relationship to Background Research 11 Limitations and Modifications 12 Implications and suggestions for future research 13 References 14 Appendix 1 15 Fig 1.1 15 Fig 1.2 16 Fig 1.3 16 Appendix 2 17 Fig 1.1 18 Fig 1.2 21 Fig 1.3 22 Fig 1.4 23 Appendix 3 24 Figure 1.1 24 Figure 1.2 24 Figure 1.3 25 Figure 1.4 25 Figure 1.5 26 Figure 1.6 26 Figure 1.7 26 Abstract Aim The aim of this study was to discover the difference in the ability of males and females to control their attentional processes. It was expected, due to previous research mentioned above, that females will complete the Stroop Test with quicker times and that they will therefore be better at controlling their attentional processes. Therefore, the alternative hypothesis for this study is that "the time taken to complete the Stroop test by female participants will be quicker than the time taken to complete the Stroop test by male participants." Procedure The study used 13 male and 13 female participants between the ages of 17 and 18 that were selected using Opportunity Sampling in the 6th Form Study Area at Sandown High School on the Isle of Wight. ...read more.

Middle

7. Time how long it takes each participant to answer correctly and mark this down on the data sheet (See Appendix 2 Figure 1.3) answers are on the accompanying answer sheet (See Appendix 2 Figure 1.4) Results Due to the fact that there were anomalies in the collected data, it was decided that the average median would be used. The averages were taken from the raw data (See Appendix 3 Figure 1.1 and 1.2) and organised into a table. Average time taken/seconds Males 27.55 Females 25.3 Table to show the average time taken in seconds to complete the stroop test by males and females. Graph to show the average time taken in seconds to complete the Stroop Test by males and femles As can be seen in the graph above, there is a difference in the results and therefore a test needs to be conducted to determine how significant the difference is. Inferential Statistics It was decided that the Mann Whitney test would be used to analyse the significance of the difference in results. This is due to a number of factors. The study used an independent design as each participant only encountered one condition (this also meant that the data was unrelated), as well as this, it was possible to rank the values as the results were the time taken for males and females to complete the Stroop Test. Level of Significance A significance level of 2.5% was used for this test. This is due to the fact that this study uses human beings and therefore there has to be an allowance for those outside the statistical norm. ...read more.

Conclusion

This could be dealt with by ensuring that the participants were selected from a range of subjects so as to remove the bias towards language based participants. Another limitation would be that the research was too casual as the participants knew the researcher. This meant that the participants would treat the study with less respect and therefore, the results would be less valid. One way to solve this issue is to use an independent researcher that is not known by the participants so as to acquire more valid results. The number of people used in the study is also a limitation. This is a problem because it means that the results are not reliable and so cannot be generalised to the rest of society. This can be dealt with by using a larger number of participants and thus acquiring more reliable results. Implications and suggestions for future research The real life implications of this study are that men and women can be set equal workloads. This is because both sexes are equally able to divert their attention and so should be able to complete the same amount of work per day. Another real life implication is that although women are biologically suited to multitasking eg. Cooking and holding a conversation, this can be changed and people are able to develop both sides of their brains and so the education system could focus more on this to help men close the gap even more. Further research however could be conducted to further clarify these results. A study into how age affects the ability to divert attention would be beneficial as it would clarify whether the equality between men and women in their ability to multitask is restricted to those aged 16-18 or whether it varies depending upon the age of the participants. ...read more.

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