bosoxgrl
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Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 2:08 pm
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HELP with "cell phone conversation and reaction time!!!"

Postby bosoxgrl » Thu Feb 21, 2008 4:15 pm

Hi!!!!
I'm doing my science fair experiment on "Does a cell phone conversation affect reaction time." I am having MAJOR trouble understanding the directions.....If anyone can help me I would love it!!!!! My first problem is that the directions say to do the reaction time test on the test subject while he/she is driving. Is that correct???? If so, how do I do that without getting into an accident!?!?!?! Also, the experiment says to test 20 subjects, but I feel that is an extreme amount, so would testing like 3 or 4 be okay? Another thing is that should I, being the tester, sit in the front seat with the driver and if so what should I do there? Overall, I could use a very detailed explanation of the directions! If anyone could help me, PLEASE do so!!! My project is due March 10th! Thank you all!!!!

Louise
Former Expert
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Re: HELP with "cell phone conversation and reaction time!!!"

Postby Louise » Thu Feb 21, 2008 6:07 pm

bosoxgrl wrote:Hi!!!!
I'm doing my science fair experiment on "Does a cell phone conversation affect reaction time." I am having MAJOR trouble understanding the directions.....If anyone can help me I would love it!!!!! My first problem is that the directions say to do the reaction time test on the test subject while he/she is driving. Is that correct???? If so, how do I do that without getting into an accident!?!?!?! Also, the experiment says to test 20 subjects, but I feel that is an extreme amount, so would testing like 3 or 4 be okay? Another thing is that should I, being the tester, sit in the front seat with the driver and if so what should I do there? Overall, I could use a very detailed explanation of the directions! If anyone could help me, PLEASE do so!!! My project is due March 10th! Thank you all!!!!


There is a project with the same name on the science buddies site, but it seems very different from what you are asking about. I am going to assume that this is the correct project though.

A link to the project under discussion.
http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_ideas/HumBeh_p009.shtml?from=Home

This is an advanced project, and I suggest you read it again carefully and make sure you understand it fully. If you don't, you should probably pick another project.

To address your specific questions-
No, you are not testing people while driving. You are supposed to come up with a test for reaction times. The instructions suggest catching a ruler as a test of reaction time- they call this the ruler drop and is mentioned through out the experimental procedure. This is the first bullet point of step 3 in the Experimental. There is a link to the full procedure on this line. You could design another simple task instead of the ruler drop if you wanted. The experimental instructions never say "to do the reaction time test on the test subject while he/she is driving" like you say, nor do they ever mention driving. The entire procedure is written about the ruler drop. You are using a simple test of reaction time as a model for a more complicated, real-world situation (driving).

Yes, you should test at least as many people as they suggest and as many trials as they suugest. Part of the background research is on statistics- you cannot make any conclusions without having enough data. Notice also that you are told to do many ruler drops per person (Step 4), where you have done a preliminary test to determine how many times you need to do it. (Step 2) The bibliography points you to this page (bottom), which has links about how to do behavoiral studies, including sample size.
http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_ideas/home_HumBeh.shtml


Hope this helps and good luck.
Louise

Yingna
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Re: HELP with "cell phone conversation and reaction time!!!"

Postby Yingna » Mon Mar 03, 2008 7:41 pm

Wow, this project sounds exactly like what a classmate of mine is conducting. Well, as Louise wrote, you aren't actually going to test cell phone use while driving--you have to first create a simulation and run the simulation several times. How your simulation is set up is up to you. I recommend writing e-mails to people who you think would conduct experiments on the safety of certain actions in cars and ask them about how they conduct simulations. Off the top of my head, police officers could provide insight.

Good luck!

jimm1909
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Re: HELP with "cell phone conversation and reaction time!!!"

Postby jimm1909 » Tue Jul 20, 2010 2:49 am

Yingna wrote:Wow, this project sounds exactly like what a classmate of mine is conducting. Well, as Louise wrote, you aren't actually going to test cell phone use while driving--you have to first create a simulation and run the simulation several times. How your simulation is set up is up to you. I recommend writing e-mails to people who you think would conduct experiments on the safety of certain actions in cars and ask them about how they conduct simulations. Off the top of my head, police officers could provide insight.

Good luck!


Any update on how his project turned out? We are about to carry out the same sort of project. I need to get myBusiness Telephone Voip Phone set up.

Thanks in advance,

-Jim


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