Task 1:

Data analysis As part of your learning activities in the autumn 2023 term, you have measured reaction times using the ruler drop test among athletes and subjects not regularly engaged in sports activities. These data are available on Brightspace in pdf format, but will be emailed to you as Excel spreadsheet. Address the following topics:

1. Data gathering:  Develop a protocol for reaction time measurement by using the ruler drop method. In this protocol, please describe details of the measurement method, how many trials per person you allow and how many measurements you take. To ensure that the data can be pooled between groups, this protocol should be uniform. The measurement protocol should also include decisions regarding the timing of taking the measurements.

2. Address the following question: Are differences in reaction time of athletes and subjects not regularly engaged in sports activities statistically significant?

3. Describe a study design appropriate to the research question. Describe how you distinguished between athletes and “non-sports” people and how you sampled study subjects (which subjects did you exclude? How did you define “athlete” etc). The study design should involve a consideration of sample sizes, supported by power considerations.

4. Decide on an appropriate statistical test, aligned with your study design and suitable for addressing the research question in 2 above. Justify your choice.

5. Present a collation of the data you analyse. This should be a pool of data from all module participants.

6. Interpret the results of your analysis, taking account of your power analysis. Please deliver a report (ca. 2000 words) that addresses the above research question. The report should be structured into: Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusions, References. The Introduction should prepare the ground for the above study question. It should describe the relevance of reaction time, give an overview of methods used for the measurement of reaction time and report on previous studies of reaction time among athletes and nonathletes.

The Materials and Method section should contain the data gathering protocol (see point 1 above), explain the study design (see point 3 above) and give details of your chosen statistical test and a rationale for your choice (see point 4 above).

The Results section should give summary statistics, and the outcome of the statistical test, including a narrative. The Discussion section should reflect on your main finding. What could explain your observation? It should also reflect on possible sources of error, or factors that may have confounded your data, if any. Do your findings agree with what has been described by others


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