Do People Take Longer When Someone Is Waiting? Perception vs. Reality

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Areas of Science Sociology
Difficulty
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
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Abstract

Maybe this has happened to you: you're going shopping with one of your parents and the parking lot is really crowded. You're helping out, scouting for an empty space. You see someone heading toward their car, taking their keys out, and you point them out. At last, you're going to get a spot. You wait for the person to pull out so you can park. Does it take them longer because you're waiting? Do they move out faster? Or does it just seem that they do? For information on people's perceptions, you can conduct a random survey. You can find out what actually happens by doing an observational study. Time people leaving parking places in lots, both with and without someone waiting. Or perhaps you can think of another, similar situation to observe repeatedly. In any case, you'll have to pick a standard method for deciding when to start running the clock (in the case of parking, perhaps when the person leaving first touches their car). Safety note: be sure to position yourself safely on a sidewalk, away from the moving cars. (Burnette-McGrath, 2004)

Bibliography

Burnette-McGrath, M., 2004. "Poky Parking: Does It Take Longer to Vacate a Parking Spot When Someone Is Waiting? Perception vs. Reality," California State Science Fair Project Abstract [accessed February 1, 2006] http://cssf.usc.edu/History/2004/Projects/J1702.pdf.

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MLA Style

Science Buddies Staff. "Do People Take Longer When Someone Is Waiting? Perception vs. Reality." Science Buddies, 20 Nov. 2020, https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project-ideas/Soc_p019/sociology/waiting?class=AQUPRtjqnY-agOKMNkeUn3OWF-5r__LoVCj4SWX6WvC_jozEvhCulf7Kpm177CDNqIp3ZLLxAp1sJ1Hmo4QFsNEO. Accessed 17 Apr. 2021.

APA Style

Science Buddies Staff. (2020, November 20). Do People Take Longer When Someone Is Waiting? Perception vs. Reality. Retrieved from https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project-ideas/Soc_p019/sociology/waiting?class=AQUPRtjqnY-agOKMNkeUn3OWF-5r__LoVCj4SWX6WvC_jozEvhCulf7Kpm177CDNqIp3ZLLxAp1sJ1Hmo4QFsNEO


Last edit date: 2020-11-20

Experimental Procedure

For this science project you will need to develop your own experimental procedure. Use the information in the summary tab as a starting place. If you would like to discuss your ideas or need help troubleshooting, use the Ask An Expert forum. Our Experts won't do the work for you, but they will make suggestions and offer guidance if you come to them with specific questions.

If you want a Project Idea with full instructions, please pick one without an asterisk (*) at the end of the title.

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