You can carry out a number of investigations to determine the effect of a specific factor on human reaction times.
A suitable investigation could be the effect of caffeine or the amount of background noise in the room. A simple method to measure the effect is to use the ruler drop test.
|1 cm||50 m/s|
|5 cm||90 m/s|
|10 cm||140 m/s|
|15 cm||170 m/s|
|20 cm||200 m/s|
|25 cm||230 m/s|
|30 cm||250 m/s|
Important: 1 millisecond is one thousandth of a second.
In a second test, noise was used to distract participants from catching the ruler.
|Attempt||With noise||Without noise|
|1||25 cm||18 cm|
|2||38 cm||15 cm|
|3||36 cm||22 cm|
|4||31 cm||24 cm|
|5||38 cm||13 cm|
What affect does noise have on the speed of reaction, measured in centimetres? [2 marks]
There is a clear difference between the length of ruler that passed through the fingers before they managed to catch it, with and without noise. [1 mark]
For example, the first set of data, with noise – 30 cm compared to without noise – 20 cm. It suggests that noise reduces the response times of the person in this experiment. [1 mark]
Tip: Include at least two or three sets of data from the results.