Blog week 3

I chose to do the topic of ‘is yawning contagious’. I actually find it hard to critique the experiment over just a four minute clip, but i definitely found quite a few of strengths and weaknesses.

Overview: They brought subjects one by one into isolated rooms. Some of the subjects would be exposed to a yawn before they enter the room. The conclusion of the experiment was that 29% of the exposed subjects yawned and 25% of the subjects not exposed to the yawn. They tested 50 subjects. They had groups of three go into separate rooms and two out of three were subjected to yawns.

Strengths:
They made sure to isolate each subject with the same conditions for each subject. They set up a great environment for each subject.
The person exposing the yawn was the independent variable. The dependent variable were the subjects exposed to the yawn.
They did have a control which were the people not subjected to a yawn.

Weaknesses:
I think that sitting in a small room by yourself with a sign saying quiet please could get very boring and typically when people get bored they get tired and yawn. A way they could improve this is by having the subjects doing a small task that is too physically or mentally demanding.
I think that if they put a bunch of people in a room together and had one person planted in there to yawn one time and see how many subjects yawn after the initial yawn.

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4 thoughts on “Blog week 3

  1. I have always been curious about the phenomenon known as yawning. I have found that I usually am more likely to be affected by a contagious yawn when I am around people I care and trust (as opposed to around strangers, or in an elevator, for example). I truly enjoyed the structure of your argument/ blog. In fact, I found it so much more interesting than my article so I chose to delve into your topic a little bit deeper to further my understanding. I could not believe how they set this experiment up. I do not think I have enough confidence in my scientific knowledge to have set up an experiment like this. Now, I think, personally, that the scientists/experimenters should have had a larger/more diverse sample size. I would like to know (before I read your blogs connected article, how they actually “exposed” a subject to a yawn. Also, sometimes even thinking about a yawn makes me yawn. So I was curious if the subjects even knew what they were being tested over.

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  2. Be careful with your terminology when you’re describing the variables. The independent variable was whether or not each participant was exposed to a yawn and the dependent variable was whether or not the participant him- or herself yawned. People can’t be variables, but their characteristics or behaviors can.

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  3. I have to say I agree with you completely agreen14. I also picked the mythbusters topic “is yawning contagious”. I think its natural response for humans to yawn if they are bored so having a task like a rubix cube, magazine, or a puzzle would be beneficial to the experiment. I also agree that having a plant in a room with the subjects would yield more obvious and concrete results. I also think it would be interesting to find out what other involuntary actions humans respond to.

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