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NATURALISTIC OBSERVATION STUDY vs. EXPERIMENT

Choose one of the following 2 “study” options
1. NATURALISTIC OBSERVATION STUDY
Consider the following research question:
There has been a good deal of interest in communication differences between women and men. Part of communication is body language including touching the person to whom one is talking. When mixed sex groups of people are talking in casual conversation (e.g., in the study hall or cafeteria) are men and women equally likely to touch each other? Or are they more likely to only touch members of the same sex? Take a few minutes to observe some groups of people talking and see if you can identify who touches who. Then, record your observations for 30 minutes, noting who initiates and who receives a touch in these groups in that time. You may need to define what constitutes a group, what is a touch, and when to stop watching one group and begin watching another.
a. Develop your research question
b. Using the data sheet provided, conduct an observation period of at least 30 minutes in an attempt to answer your research question.
2. EXPERIMENT
Consider the following experiment: Reaction Time to Visual Stimuli
a. Choose one of the following websites to use for your experiment:
• http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/java/redgreen.html
• http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/humanbody/sleep/sheep/reaction_version5.swf
b. Find at least 10 people who are willing to spend a few minutes with you at the computer
c. For each subject, record his/her age and gender and using the data sheet provided, record their reaction time for each of the 5 trials on the computer. Have each subject do the experiment twice.
d. Record the average reaction time for each subject. Is there a practice effect? How can you tell? How, if at all, does gender and age of your subjects appear to influence the data?

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