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An
experiment to investigate the effects of presence of other people in relation
to someone’s performance of a specific task

Ian
D. Gomez

IB
Psychology HL

Word
Count- 1613

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table
of contents

Abstract

Introduction…………………………………………………………………….
4

Method: Design………………………………………………………………….
5

Method: Participants…………………………………………………………….
6

Method: Materials/Procedures…………………………………………………..
7

 Results: Descriptive……………………………………………………………. 8

Results: Inferential………………………………………………………………
8

Discussion/Conclusion……………………………………………………..……9

List of sources……………………………………………………………………
10

Appendix/Appendecies……………………………………………………………………………..
 11

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Abstract

 
        According to studies
participants are likely to have a better performance when contending against
others or when they are put under the watch of others. This theory (social
facilitation) was initially researched by Norman Triplett in 1898. Triplett
noticed that cyclists had faster times when racing against others compared to
when they were racing alone. Since then, social facilitation theories have
changed and have become more developed after Triplett’s first conclusions and
findings.

        In my experiment, I aimed to figure out
if people perform better in groups compared to being alone. I presume to reach
this aim by testing the time it took participants to cover a fixed a distance.
I initially timed the participants running alone, and then timed the
participants running against others. There was a huge difference in these times
among all participants in this experiment. All of the participants tested tend
to have a faster time when running against other participants. Social
facilitation is a very precise theory and my experiment helped me to see
realize that more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction

          “Social facilitation is the tendency
for people to have a better performance when performing simple tasks when under
the eye of others or when competing against another, rather than while they are
alone”. This theory has been proven in a range of studies. The worldliest known
study that has been made about social facilitation was by Norman Triplett in
1898.

           Triplett observed the performances
of cyclists while watching a race. He noticed that the participants in the race
showed a better performance and faster times when racing with others instead of
just racing alone. He came to the conclusion that the presence of competitors
played a factor to the major change of outcome in the bikers’ race. This
observation led Triplett’s enthusiasm into exploring the study of social
facilitation. Triplett conducted a study that involved school-age children
turning a fishing reel as fast as the can for a period of time. This led him to
discover that when the children worked in pairs their performance was overall better
compared to when they worked alone.

        In my replication of Triplett’s
experiment, I analyzed the presence of social facilitation when people were
running a certain distance. I timed each participant once when running alone
and another time when running together with a group. By comparing the time, my
aim is to determine if the participants perform better in groups compared to
being alone. The independent variable was the number of people racing, and the dependent
variable was the time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Method

 

     Design:

        In my experiment, I used the repeated
measures. For the selection of my participants, I had a fifteen participants
choose a group number out of a bucket, to decide the group number they would be
with, and they were separated into random groups. Participants were given the
option to opt out at any time during the experiment. I was very ethical in this
experiment. I informed all participants of the procedure and what will be
required of them. All of the participants were studied at the same time and the
same location to avoid any differences or bias in the experiment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Materials/Procedures

The materials needed for this
experiment was five stop watches, and pencil and paper with a previously
configured chart (See appendix for chart).  It made the process very smooth because I
needed only a few sources of information.

•             Materials:
– Pencil, stop watch

Participants were given
the consent form (see appendix for consent form) to sign and turn in
before experiment begins.

•             The
introduction and purpose of the experiment is read and explained to
participants by the researcher.

All
participants divided evenly into three groups of five. Participants picked
a random number out of a cup to make the division not bias.
Participants
were separated into different groups.
Group one
went first. I timed the participants over a distance of 1 mile which is 4
laps around a track, each at a different time running alone.
After, I
tested the participants each when running with the entire group over that same
distance.
This
process was repeated for groups two and three also. All results were
written in my chart.

•             Debrief
(see appendix) session was held after the experiment was completed.  

 

 

 

 

Participants

My target population was an
opportunity sample. The participants of my study were chosen from members of my
soccer team. My soccer team, ages seventeen to eighteen, volunteered to participate
in the testing. All participants were active, which meant that they were all on
the same athletic level, helping the calculations to be more accurate. The
group was chosen randomly and I only had fifteen people participating.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Results

For my experiment, I put together an
ordinal data. I used an ordinal data because it can be tiered. I made the charts
(see appendix) that showed the times of each participant when they ran the mile
alone and when they ran with a group. This chart made it possible for me to
compare each person and their fastest time.

Descriptive

In whole, out of the fifteen
participants that took part in this experiment, twelve participants showed a
better performance when running against others.  Better performance means finishing the
distance in a faster time than the time when ran alone. My hypothesis was
correct in my study.  I came to the
conclusion that social facilitation was accurate in my experiment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Discussion

In Triplett’s study, his results proved
that the bikers he studied performed better in a group than when they were
alone. My results were fairly similar to Triplett’s. I discovered that when time
of participants running alone, they were slower than when they were put into a
group. I predicted this outcome in my hypothesis and my experiment revealed
that my predictions are correct in this case study.

My experiment had some strengths
and weaknesses. I was very ethical during my experiment by showing the
participants respect and keeping them informed and aware of the process. This made
them be more compliant and easy to work with. In addition, another strength was
the method that I chose to use to gather the required data. On the other hand,
my main weakness was that I was restricted on the amount of participants that I
could test. Due to the fact that this experiment could not be conducted in a
classroom, I had to find a different group of people that were willing to
participate which was my soccer team. If I had the chance to experiment on a
more assorted class, my results could have been more accurate.

I am fully aware that my results cannot
be generalized, but I do trust that I have come to the right conclusion. Only
thing ill chance if I had the opportunity to redo this experiment is I would test
the same groups more than once, on different days so that certain influences
such as fatigue of the participants would not add to the results.

In conclusion, according to the
results of my replication of Triplett’s experiment based on social
facilitation, people perform better in groups compared to being alone.

 

 

 

List
of resources

McClelland, G. (2009). Social
Facilitation. Retrieved from        

                http://samiam.colorado.edu/~mcclella/expersim/introsocial.html

Mohamed, N. (n.d). Norman
Triplett’s Experiment. Retrieved from

                http://socialperformance.weebly.com/

Triplett’s Experiment on Social
Facilitation.  (2014). Retrieved from

               https://prezi.com/hpfoz9iafuvq/tripletts-experiment-on-social-facilitation/

Triplett, N. (1898). The
Dynamogenic Factors in Pacemaking and Competition. The American

                Journal
of Psychology, 9(4), 507-533.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appendix/
Appendices

Letter of consent form

Social Facilitation Experiment

Researcher: Ian Gomez

Dear participant, as part of my IB
Psychology Internal Assessment, I am carrying out an experiment on social
Facilitation. This study is going to test your ability to solve a crossword
puzzle by yourself and after in the presence of other participants. Your
participation will last no longer than fifteen minutes. You have the choice to
withdraw/decline participation in this experiment at any given time with no
consequences. There will be no risk or safety issues while participating, and
your identity will be kept confidential.

—– I have been informed about
the nature of the experiment

—– I understand that I have the
right to withdraw from the experiment at any time

—– I understand that all info or
data about me will remain confidential. My anonymity will be protected as my
name will not be identifiable.

—– The experiment will be
conducted so that I will not be demeaned in any way

—– I give my informed consent to
participating in this experiment

Participant signature:

Date:

Researcher phone number: 404 933
5589

 

Chart

Group

Participant

Time alone

Time with group

1

1

6:00 mins

 7:00 mins

1

2

5:45 mins

6:30 mins

1

3

6:45 mins

 7:00 mins

1

4

6:20  mins

6:40 mins

1

5

6:10 mins

 7:00 mins

2

6

6:30 mins

 6:50 mins

2

7

6:20 mins

  6:57 mins

2

8

7:15 mins

  6:54 mins

2

9

6:00 mins

  7:30 mins

2

10

6:05 mins

  7:05 mins

3

11

7:30 mins

 6:50 mins

3

12

6:00 mins

7:15 mins

3

13

5:55 mins

7:27 mins

3

14

7:00 mins

6:55 mins

3

15

6:07 mins

7:24 mins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Debrief

My aim is to determine if the participants perform better in groups
compared to being alone. Thank you all for participating in this experiment.
Your participation is greatly appreciated.  If you have any questions about this experiment,
please contact me.

Email- [email protected]            

404 933 5589

 

 

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