# Does people's ability to estimate lengths improve after being shown an accurate length?

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Introduction

Jeremy Chang 10V Maths Coursework: Statistics

## Maths Coursework: Statistics

## Does people’s ability to estimate lengths improve after being shown an accurate length?

## Introduction

I have been set a task for my maths coursework to analyse and conclude on the subject of peoples ability to estimate lines. For this coursework I will do a statistical based analysis of the results I collect. From those results, I will create various graphs and charts to show them in a different perspective. I will be collecting the data from various people and recording them in a data capture form I will create myself. I intend to enter the results into a spreadsheet for easier analysis. Once I have analysed all the data and wrote all that I can about it, I will conclude and evaluate it.

## Hypothesis:

People’s ability to estimate the length of a line improves after being shown an accurate length.

## Plan

To do this I will first draw a line of exactly 95mm on a blank piece of paper, the paper itself will not be A4 as the estimation becomes invalid as some people know the measurements of an A4 piece of paper. It will be on a piece of square shaped paper, the length of it will not be revealed. To make the line exact, I will produce it using a computer program , typing the exact length to produce a horizontal line, I will then print it out. However printer ink sometimes smudges on cheap, thin paper, spreading out and so the tine could get longer. I , however am using thick 100 mg paper to print and so the line will be as accurate as possible.

Next I will ask someone to estimate the lines length.

Middle

9.4

-0.1

8.2

-1.3

18

f

9.4

-0.1

8.5

-1.0

19

f

9.4

-0.1

10.0

0.5

20

f

11.0

1.5

8.0

-1.5

21

f

11.0

1.5

10.0

0.5

22

f

11.1

1.6

10.0

0.5

23

f

11.2

1.7

10.5

1.0

24

f

11.2

1.7

10.5

1.0

25

f

12.8

3.3

9.2

-0.3

26

m

6.0

-3.5

6.0

-3.5

27

m

6.3

-3.2

8.0

-1.5

28

m

7.0

-2.5

8.0

-1.5

29

m

7.2

-2.3

9.0

-0.5

30

m

7.8

-1.7

8.9

-0.6

31

m

7.9

-1.6

9.5

0.0

32

m

8.0

-1.5

8.5

-1.0

33

m

8.5

-1.0

7.5

-2.0

34

m

8.5

-1.0

9.2

-0.3

35

m

8.9

-0.6

8.5

-1.0

36

m

9.0

-0.5

11.0

1.5

37

m

9.4

-0.1

8.5

-1.0

38

m

9.5

0.0

10.0

0.5

39

Conclusion

I don’t think I could make any change to my project, though I could expand upon it in many ways. First I would expand upon the number I data I collect, instead of 50 maybe 100, or 200. Then I could see if the data would reap the same kind of results. I could change the exact length shown and see if that affect the estimation, instead of 110mm, maybe a shorter length like 50mm. Changing the length they have to estimate could also change the results, as in their estimation may be better if it’s a length they could remember well like 15 centimetres. These changes I believe would seriously affect the results I receive and have to analyse. Since I collected the sex of the people in question, I could see if sex affects the line estimation, when analysing the results, I already noted that, either women estimated quite near the lines length or exactly the length and men didn’t estimate the exact length but many estimated very, very close to it. I could see if age was an issue, from young students to old men and women who have retired. I could also see if age and sex affects them, with two extra factors. One good factor to study would be occupation, whilst graphics teachers would be very good at estimating line (or so I think), an English teacher may not be so good. Last of all , the direction the line is facing is also a very important factor. As I said earlier, if the line is positioned horizontally then the estimation may be extremely different even though it is the same length but from a different perspective. Diagonal lines could also be introduced.

All in all, I believe that I have done quite a good project , my analysis and production of the graphs was good and I believe that I covered more statistical areas which would benefit me in my studies.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Comparing length of words in newspapers section.

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