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cejensen's picture

Reaction Time (Claire and Valerie)

We did experiments with physiology equipment which measures reaction time. We took turns being the test subject and the tester. The tester would poke the subject in the dominant shoulder, and the subject, upon experiencing the stimulus, would press a button. We first measured our base responses. Latency is the time between stimulus and response.

Test 1
Latency 1: 126 milliseconds
Latency 2: 40 milliseconds
Total: 166 milliseconds

Test 2
Latency 1: 139 milliseconds
Latency 2: 44 milliseconds
Total: 183 milliseconds

Test 1
Latency 1: 420 milliseconds
Latency 2: 37 milliseconds
Total: 457 milliseconds

Test 2
Latency 1: 128
Latency 2: 26
Total: 154

We thought that our times might change when we were distracted. First, the tester asked the subject questions while the subject was trying to respond to the stimulus (as well as the questions). We collected data for this, however, we believe that we collected the wrong data for this, so we will not include it.

Realizing our mistakes from the previous experiment, we tried a new one. The subject would watch a music video while simultaneously trying to respond to the stimulus.

Data from the Music Video experiment:

Latency 1: 107
Latency 2: 93
Total: 200

Latency 1: 380
Latency 2: 53
Total: 433

These are from the same experiment. In the latter instance, in the subject was distracted by an outside factor (people walked in the room).

Test 1:
Latency 1: 176
Latency 2: 23
Total: 199

Test 2:
Latency 1: 122
Latency 2: 26
Total: 148

We found that in some instances the distraction of the music video had more of an impact on the reaction time than others. For the most part, the music videos had very little effect on reaction time. What had more of an impact on our reaction time was outside distractions that we had not anticipated and couldn't control.

Therefore, we think that unanticipated distractions have the greatest effect on reaction time (with the music videos, we anticipated distraction).

By Claire and Valerie


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