Sociology is the scientific study of social interactions, at both small and large scales. Sociologists ask big questions, such as "How are societies maintained?" and "How do societies change?"

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Science Fair Project Idea
Is there a correlation between birth order and grade point average? Design a survey study to find out. How many completed surveys do you need for a representative sample of your school? If you limit your survey to one school, would you expect it to be representative of a larger population (such as your county or state?) How do you control for potential effects of parental age at birth? (In other words, younger siblings will have a higher probability of being born to older parents. If there… Read more
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This project asks the question "How do friendship groups change over time?" The results may support inferences about how "people skills" develop. What types of changes would you expect to see? Do you expect friendship groups to grow larger over time? Do you expect that individuals will belong to more, less or about the same number of friendship groups as they get older? Do you think there will be more or less exclusivity among groups (and how would you measure such a concept)? Do you… Read more
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Science Fair Project Idea
Tests, homework, taxes, speed limits, sports: there's always the possibility of cheating. Design a survey to investigate attitudes about cheating. Are some kinds of cheating worse than others? Are there times when it is OK to cheat, or is cheating always wrong? Do people who admit to cheating have the same attitudes as those who don't? Read more
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Can an authority figure make someone question their own memory? How reliable is eyewitness information? This project looks into these questions. You'll need a poster-sized image that includes many faces, and a volunteers to act as "eyewitnesses." The volunteers are tested individually. The instructions are that they have one minute to examine the poster, and then a fixed amount of time (e.g., 5 minutes) to write down brief, accurate descriptions of all the faces they can remember. They'll… Read more
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The author of this project hypothesized that movies often disappoint readers because book-based movies tend to "dumb down" the works on which they are based (Fuhrman, 2002). Naturally, selective compression is necessary when telling a story as a movie, or no one would sit through it. (Hey, maybe there's an idea for a different experiment!) Selective compression is not necessarily the same, however, as simplification. There are ways to objectively measure the complexity of written language… Read more
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How many times have you seen a car without the appropriate permit (either a license plate or placard that hangs from the rearview mirror) parked in an accessible parking space reserved for people with disabilities? If you find this behavior upsetting, you might be interested in figuring out how to discourage "cheaters" who use these spaces to make a quick trip into the store. Is it enough to let them know someone might be watching? Read more
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What motivates you to clean your room/mow the lawn/wash the dishes (substitute your own responsibility at home)? What motivates you to do something you really like to do? Or think about this: you'd like to get your younger brother or sister to do you a favor. What strategy works best? Here is a project designed to test which incentive strategy works best for encouraging small children to complete a task. Read more
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Science Fair Project Idea
The concept of beauty changes over time and often differs among societal groups. How strongly do societal conceptions of beauty shape an individual's self-image? There are many fascinating questions you could choose to explore with surveys on this subject. For example, how well do girls' ideas of what is attractive in boys agree with boys' expectations about what girls find attractive (or vice versa)? Try your survey with different generations to see how conceptions change over time. If you… Read more
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Science Fair Project Idea
Do you ever say you like to go somewhere, and your friend says, "Yuck, that's for girls!" or "Ewww, that's for boys!" Do this experiment to find out if there are some places that girls like to go more than boys, or vice versa. Read more
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Science Fair Project Idea
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… Read more
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Free science fair projects.