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.
The aim of this experiment is to determine whether a factor such as caffeine or background noise affects reaction times.
|Catch distance (cm)||Reaction time (ms)|
One millisecond is one thousandth of a second. It can also be written as 10−3 s.
|Attempt||Distance on ruler (cm)||Distance on ruler (cm)|
|number||With noise||Without noise|
What affect does noise have on the speed of reaction, measured in centimetres?
There is a clear difference between length of ruler that passed through the fingers before they managed to catch it, with and without noise.
For example, the average distance travelled by the ruler before it was caught with noise was 33.6 cm compared to 18.4 cm without noise. This suggests that noise increases the reaction time of the person in this experiment.
Tip: Include at least two or three sets of data from the results.