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• Level: GCSE
• Subject: Maths
• Word count: 2315

# Reaction Times.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

AQA Coursework: Reaction Times

Grandad told Simon that some people have slower reactions than other people.  Simon decided to test the reaction times of some of his friends.

To determine whether this hypothesis is correct, I could test the following;

Girls  vs.  Boys

Sports teams  vs.  Non-sports teams

Top sets  vs.  Lower sets

Test taken in the morning  vs.  Test taken in the evening

I have decided to concentrate on a comparison between different age groups.  I believe that year seven’s reaction times will be faster than those of year elevens because they are genuinely not as tired or slowed down by examination, college and career worries.

Once I have studied in depth this hypothesis I shall then extend my investigation to another factor previously mentioned above.

To collect my data I used the ruler test in which a 300mm ruler was dropped from the 0mm mark at a set point and wherever your hand landed in catching it was the length of their reaction time (e.g.; 10mm being very fast, 300mm being considerably slow).  Although I collected some of the data myself, some was taken by a teacher in secondary data format.

The test was taken 3 times to find a personal average by each pupil in year seven and year eleven.

Middle

Lowry, Julia

83.33

Female

11

Holmes, Katie

136

Female

11

Johnson, Alexandra

193

Female

11

Odudu, Onatejiro

200

Female

11

Pollard, Louise

180

The above are samples I have found during random sampling of the population of pupils in year seven and year eleven.

I shall now organise my data using a number of different methods to compare and contrast the different groups, which will initially help me to conclude my hypothesis.

Mean, Median and Mode:

 Group Mean Median Mode Range Year Seven 99.021 (3dp) 90.83 80 165 Year Eleven 159.077 (3dp) 154.5 180 169.67

From the above information I can determine that year sevens have, on average, a faster reaction time than year elevens.  I shall assume that the most reliable of the four calculations are the mean and the median seeing as both are similar numbers within each group contrasting this to comparisons between each of the other different calculations.  Each of the group’s ranges are similar which means that the spread of my data is even between groups although because the ranges are very high numbers the data may not be so reliable and so I will have to, in addition, organise the data in a different method to ensure that the spread of data is acceptable.

Histogram:

I shall now draw histograms to work out the distribution of my data.

Year 7:

 Reaction Time Frequency Width Frequency Density 50 ≤ ϰ    80 8 30 0.26 80 ≤ ϰ    110 13 30 0.43 110 ≤ ϰ    140 7 30 0.23 140 ≤ ϰ    170 0 30 0 170 ≤ ϰ    200 1 30 0.03 200 ≤ ϰ    230 1 30 0.03

Year 11:

 Reaction Time Frequency Width Frequency Density 50 ≤ ϰ    80 0 30 0 80 ≤ ϰ    110 6 30 0.2 110 ≤ ϰ    140 6 30 0.2 140 ≤ ϰ    170 3 30 0.1 170 ≤ ϰ    200 6 30 0.2 200 ≤ ϰ    230 8 30 0.26 230 ≤ ϰ    280 1 30 0.03

From the histograms I have drawn, it appears that on a whole year 7 pupils have a faster reaction time than year 11’s.  Although the ranges are identical (80cm), the locations of year 11’s lower and upper ranges are of a higher number (80-260) compared to year 7’s (50-230).  This tells us that year 11’s have a slower reaction time.

However despite these similarities, the year 11 histogram has an even distribution and is positively skewed yet the year 7 data has no correlation nor is it as evenly distributed.  Because this means that the year 7 histogram is not very reliable, I will have to draw a cumulative frequency diagram to successfully det90-114ermine whether or not my hypothesis is accurate.

Cumulative Frequency:

Cumulative frequency table for year 7:

 Year 7 Group Frequency Cumulative Frequency 50 – 79 8 8 80 – 109 12 20 110 – 139 8 28 140 – 169 0 28 170 - 299 2 30

Cumulative frequency table for year 11:

 Year 11 Group Frequency Cumulative Frequency 70 – 109 6 6 110 – 149 8 14 150 – 189 7 21 190 – 229 7 28 230 – 269 2 31

Conclusion

Questionnaire:

Before filling in the questionnaire, please take the ruler test as demonstrated in your maths class 15 minutes after you have woken up one morning.

Name: _______________________________

Time experiment was taken: _____________

Score Obtained (to 1 decimal place): ___________

Are you a member of a sports team?          Yes

No

If Yes, what sport(s) do you do? ____________________________________________________________________

Thank you for taking the time to help me with my studies.

Sampling:

The following is data I have randomly selected from my population of year 11 sports team members and non-sports team members.

Sports Members:

 Name: Reaction Time (mm): Kaylie Abraham 102 Rachel Allen 136 Siobhan Haworth 115 Emma Highton 144 Aimie Kennedy 115 Julia Lowry 83.3 Daniel Cameron 179 Denis Greenwood 111 Aiden McVey 83 Dominic O’Doherty 92

Non- Sports Members:

 Name: Reaction Time (mm): Emily Balshaw 98.3 Claire Bowman 176 Sussanah Byrom 173.3 Natalie Evans 220 Stephanie Green 115 Adam Brandon 108 Kieran Culff 143 Louis Davies 153 Simon Gillibrand 163 Jolyon Lowe 182

Mean, Median, Mode and Range:

 Group Mean Median Mode Range Sport 116.03 113 115 96 Non-Sport 137.56 148 - 121.7

From these calculations, it is obvious that sports team members have a faster reaction time than non-sports team members on average.  The mean, median and mode for this group are similar numbers so I can correctly determine that that particularly set of data is reliable.  However, the non-sports team group has no mode nor is the mean and median similar so I will still have to arrange my data using a different method to successfully state whether or not my hypothesis is correct.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Height and Weight of Pupils and other Mayfield High School investigations section.

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