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To investigate the effect of Caffeine / Nicotine on reaction times.

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To investigate the effect of Caffeine/Nicotine on reaction times. Introduction. Caffeine is an alkaloid present in the leaves of certain plants such as coffee and tea. It is known to be a stimulant, which perhaps has the effect on individuals of keeping them awake or making them more alert. Caffeine has been shown to increase the heart rate immediately after consumption and then having a time lag before the heart rate returns to its normal pattern. Other associated physiological processes are similarly affected for example the rate of respiration Nicotine is also an alkaloid but rather more severe in it's action in that it can be habit forming. Individuals speak of being calmed down though the intake of nicotine plus a feeling of well-being involved in the activity, this chemical therefore should have a bearing on reaction times particularly if the individual was in a state of tension before consuming the nicotine. Aim: The reaction times of individuals may well depend upon the intake of stimulants, such as caffeine and nicotine, and the aim of this experiment is to determine whether there is any significant difference in performing a task when under the influence of these substances. ...read more.


The data in each experiment was expressed as mean time between bell. The evidence suggests that no difference in these median times has occurred For the results of time taken to achieve three bells, in view of the fact that each student performed six replicates and there were seven students in two classes, males and females it was thought worthwhile to carry out an analysis of variance test or anova. The details of the calculation are presented in the spreadsheet. In the notation of Rolfe and Sokal, the two groups of students males and females represent the blocks. Their experimental performances represent the treatments. The calculation steps are set out in the spreadsheet data. Fundamentally although a difficult exercise the analysis revolves around computing the squares of total data, and the square of the blocks and treatments. Looking at the table of values, the mean square error is the largest item and according to Rolfe and Sokal this would infer that there is no significant difference between treatments or groups. Given further the calculations of the 't ' test giving a value of t less than the critical value supplied from tables at the 5% level of significance for the nicotine experiment and the finding that median time intervals were not significantly different from the ...read more.


It may not be theoretically sound to replicate six runs before imbibing, and them repeating six runs after imbibing as the design of this experiment has heretofore been conducted. In any given class situation the problem arises of standardization. It was not possible (and maybe not desirable in any event) for prior training to be given on how students were to approach the exercise. One can imagine and evidence from the data supports this that some students will take great care not to sound the bell and hence take a greater time to complete the task. Others may rush the task casually not caring how many mistakes they make. This difference in attitude may not be important to the averaging process but would be important if particular students changed their plan in between experiments. Overall given these considerations and the results of the two-way anova and the 't' tests, this experiment has been difficult to evaluate. There are many variable remaining to be isolated. It would have been helpful to monitor some of the suggested effects of the chemical such as the pulse rate. This sort of analysis might help to analyze the results of the individuals involved, as heart rate is extremely variable among the population. A greater quantity of caffeine probably needs to be taken before the results will show a significant change. Caffeine Experiment. Krimal Patel. ...read more.

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