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.

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.

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.


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.


  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.


  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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