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Essay/Term paper: Observational abilities test

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Science Research Papers

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Observational Abilities Test


What is true in the eyes of one, can be seen as a delusion in another.
We, as a society, are made up of a dramatically diverse amalgam of cultures and
abilities. Finding out what those differences are can help us reach a better
understanding of each other, thus a more equitable relationship can be
developed. Therefore, finding the observational abilities of a given group
may help yield some interesting and valuable information.
In the following study several groups were tested on their
observational abilities. In order to develop such a test, it was necessary to
devise a structured approach for gathering and interpreting the information.
Therefore, the scope of the test was formulated based on hypothesis testing.
The following hypothesis was established as the criterion for the test:

Null hypothesis (Ho) : Males and females do not have
different observational abilities

Alternative Hypothesis (H1) : Males and females do have different
observational abilities


The study consisted of 3 groups of varying size and structure.
During the initial phase, the members of the study were unaware that any test
was being conducted. The locations of the test were Wilford Hall Medical
Center : Primary Care Meeting, University of the Incarnate
Word : World Literature Class, and University of Texas at San Antonio :
Business Statistics Class. The sample sizes and constructs were as follows:

Wilford Hall Medical Center : 30 people - 19 (F) 11 (M)
University of the Incarnate Word : 19 people - 9 (F) 10 (M)
University of Texas at San Antonio: 32 people - 11 (F) 21 (M)

The test subjects were all presented with the same scenario, given the normal
degree of variation. The procedure of the test was as follows: - The
instructor/manager was advised that a test would be
conducted sometime during the period. - A male messenger with black hair
and wearing a blue shirt
and slacks, would enter the room unannounced. - The messenger would hand an
envelope to the instructor. - The messenger would then say, "This is from
Debbie". - The messenger would then exit the room. The instructor/manager had
been asked to wait 10 minutes, then the instructor/manager would pass out a
form for the respondents to fill out (Results: Sample Form). All the data was
compiled and corrected, then the data was inputted into the SPSS statistical
program for analysis. Each correct answer on the form was given a value of 10
and each incorrect answer was given a value of 0. The male and female
respondents were analyzed individually by sex and group (Results: Descriptives),
Then the relevant scores and data of the groups were evaluated against each
other (Results: Observation Test - Mean Scores).


The following pages contain a sample test and the output of data
retrieved from the study. The programs used to evaluate and display the data
were the SPSS Professional Statistical Software and Microsoft Excel.

SAMPLE TEST FORM Please answer the following questions about the messenger that
had previously entered the room. If you do not know the correct response
then choose the "unknown" option, please do not guess. Thank You!

1) Was the messenger male or female? › Male › Female › Unknown

2) What color was the messengers clothing? › Red › Black › Tan › Blue › Gray ›

3) What was the messengers hair color? › Blond › Brown › Auburn › Black ›

4) What did the messenger say to the instructor/manager? › How are you today ›
This is from the Dean › This is a nice day › This is from Debbie › Unknown

5) What did the messenger hand the instructor/manager? › An envelope › A
large/thick book › Nothing › A folder › A pen and pencil › Unknown

- Upon completion of this evaluation, please return it to the
instructor/manager. This has been a study to evaluate the observational
abilities of men and women. All information will be for the sole use this
study. Thank you for your assistance.


According to the analyzed data from this study, the Ho: Males and
Females do not have different observational abilities, would be false.
Therefore, the H1: Males and Females do have different observational
abilities, would be true. The basis for this conclusion are as follows:

- All the mean scores of the female respondents were higher
than that of the male respondents. - Individually, the majority of the
female respondents answered more of the questions correctly. -
Individually, the majority of the male respondents answered
more of the questions incorrectly.


In any study it is equally important to understand the limitations, as
well as prove the hypothesis. Therefore, it is necessary to outline the
potential shortcoming of this study. The primary limitation of this study is
the sweeping generalization of observation abilities, based solely on one
scenario. In order to develop a more accurate conclusion, many more scenarios
and elements would need to be implemented. The element of surprise could also
be considered a possible limitation, for the participants may not have been in
the frame of mind to be tested. Having only one trial per group and taking
into account the small population size, these elements could lend themselves to
skewing the results adversely. The element of bias was not a consideration in
the overall conclusions. Therefore, several potential bias could enter the
study, such as that men may not normally notice personal attire, nor that any
degree of attention may be paid to another male. The male may take more notice
of a female messenger than that of a male messenger, and vise versa for the
female. The test in itself was limited in scope and application. The test was
an all or nothing scoring system, not allowing for "coming close". The
possibility of visual restrictions of the respondents (i.e. poor sight, color
blindness) was not taken into account. Also, the test only had five questions,
all of which were very specific, not allowing for further observations.
Finally, the groups studied all had some degree of higher education and were
all involved in a structured scenario, a classroom or a meeting. Therefore,
this may not represent a proper cross-section of the general population. As for
the general reliability of the study, it would serve as a good basis for further
investigation. Also, it must be taken into account that the developer and
administer of the study is not a professionally trained researcher. The study
unto itself could not be held to absolute accuracy, nor could it be an integral
part of a larger study, rather it would be best utilized as a point of reference.


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