Reaction time experiment in psychology


Introduction: Reaction time  is certain time period between application of external stimulus and appropriate motor response to the stimulus called the reaction time. Reaction time is defined as interval of time between presentation of stimulus and appearance of appropriate voluntary response in a subject.It reflects the speed of the flow of neurophysiological, cognitive, and information processes which are created by the action of stimulus on the person’s sensory system. 
Reaction time or response time refers to the amount of time that takes places between when we perceive something to when we respond to it. It is the ability to detect, process, and respond to a stimulus.

Reaction time depends on various factors:
Perception: Seeing, hearing, or feeling a stimulus with certainty is essential to having good reaction time. When the starter shoots the gun at the beginning of a race, the sound is received by the athlete’s ears (they perceive the stimulus).

Processing: In order to have good reaction time, it’s necessary to be focused and understand the information well. Following the previous example, the runners, after hearing the gun, will be able to distinguish the sound from other background noise and know that it is time to start running (process the stimulus).

Response: Motor agility is necessary in order to be able to act and have good response time. When the runners perceived and correctly processes the signal, they started moving their legs (respond to the stimulus).
Name of the experiment: Reaction Time

Purpose: To measure the Simple Reaction Time of the subject for light stimulus under natural, sensorial and muscular conditions.

1.The Reaction Time will be less in muscular condition in comparison to
natural and sensorial conditions.
2.The Reaction Time will be less in sensorial condition in comparison to natural condition.
Independent Variable – natural, sensorial and muscular conditions (manipulated through instructions)
Dependent Variable – Reaction Time
Material used: Vernier Chronoscope, paper, pencil
Subject’s details: Name………………………, Age……………………………… (range from 18 to 22), Sex…………….., Educational Qualification………. ………………………….
Preliminary set-up: The pendulums were adjusted on 77 swings per minute for subject’s pendulum and 75 swings per minute for experimenter’s pendulum with the help of the stop watch.
Procedure: The subject was called and seated comfortably. A rapport was established during which her/his details were sought. The experiment was done in three conditions namely natural, sensorial and muscular. The different conditions were induced through instructions. In the natural condition, the subject was instructed as follows-
“I will give you a ready signal. Thereafter you will see a light on the board. Press the key when you see the light.’’
The responses of the subject were noted in terms of the number of oscillations of the subject’s pendulum till it started oscillating with the experimenter’s pendulum. In this way 20 trials were taken. Thereafter trials for the sensorial condition were taken.
The subject was instructed as follows for the sensorial condition-
“I will give you a ready signal. Thereafter you will see a light on the board. Focus your total attention on the light and as soon as you see the light, press the key.’’
The procedure was same as for the natural condition. The sensorial condition was followed by muscular condition in which the subject was instructed as follows-
“I will give you a ready signal. Thereafter you will see a light on the board. Put your finger on the key and as soon as you see the light, press the key.”Again the same procedure was followed for taking 20 trials in this condition.
The following were taken care of-The arrangement of swings as done by the experimenter was not shown to the subject.
• The counting of the swings was done carefully.
Table 1: Oscillation in natural,mascular,and sensorial conditions

Trials Oscillation in natural Oscillation in sensorial Oscillation in muscular
1 30 28 12
2 24 19 10
3 22 21 15
4 28 25 13
5 30 29 14
6 20 18 21
7 24 21 18
8 32 31 17
9 20 15 15
10 20 20 15
11 20 19 17
12 20 17 19
13 20 19 22
14 22 21 21
15 28 26 9
16 30 27 11
17 26 24 12
18 25 23 12
19 26 25 16
20 31) 30 17

Table:2 Relation time in milliseconds for the three conditions (oscillation*20= in milliseconds)

Trials Oscillation in natural Oscillation in sensorial Oscillation in muscular
1 600 560 24
2 480 380 200
3 440 420 300
4 560 500 260
5 600 580 280
6 400 360 420
7 480 420 360
8 640 620 340
9 400 300 300
10 400 400 300
11 400 380 340
12 400 340 380
13 400 380 440
14 440 420 420
15 560 520 180
16 600 540 220
17 520 480 240
18 500 460 240
19 520 500 320
20 620 600 340

now You have to calculate the t test among natural and sensorial, sensorial and muscular and natural and muscular. Then you have to check significant mean and in end to write the interpretation of this experiment.

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