Scientific Questionare

By: Megan Li and Amogh Singhal

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Does gender affect the average amount of sleep a person gets?


Women, on average, get more sleep than men.

Evidence of Gender not Affecting the Average Amount of Sleep

Type of Investigation

This investigation is a comparative investigation because it is collecting data on different organisms or objects to make a comparison between them.

Parts of the Experiment

Independent Variable: Gender

Dependent Variable: Average Amount of Sleep

Constant: None

Control: None

Experimental Group: Males and Females Between the Ages of 14-18


Gender creates no significant difference in the amount of sleep an individual gets every night. The average number of hours slept obtained for women was around 6.4 hours, while it was 6.5 hours for men. These numbers themselves are extremely close, but what shows no statistical difference is the standard deviation and standard error of the mean. The standard deviation for women is .9 and for men it's 1.0. These ranges are extremely similar and show that there isn't a huge difference in the two data sets. The real indication of there not being a real difference in the two data sets, however, comes from the standard error of the means for each data set, as it was 0.22 for the women and 0.42 for the men. This means that the true mean for women can be anywhere from 5.96 to 6.84 hours, and the true mean for men can be anywhere from 5.66 to 7.34 hours. The range for men completely overlaps the range for women which indicates absolutely no significant different in the data. The final set of evidence is the fact that the t-test value of the two sets of data gives a p-value of 0.39. This shows that there is currently not a 95% confidence that the independent variable has an effect, giving the claim that gender does not have an effect on the amount of sleep obtained per night. There was a study of sleep duration in American adolescents by Sarah A. Burgard, Jennifer A. Ailshire, and N. Michelle Hughes. In their experiment it was also concluded that female-male difference are very similar and provide largely consistent conclusions about statistical significance. (Burgard, Ailshire, Hughes) This matches the conclusion in this experiment that gender does not affect the average amount of sleep per night.


In conclusion, the hypothesis of women getting more sleep than men was disproved by the data collected. The data showed a slight difference but not high enough to pass the 95% confidence.

Sources of Inaccuracies/Errors

An inaccuracy in this experiment was the data was more girls than boys. Another source of error came from the precision and accuracy of the experiment, as we were limited to being very imprecise about the amount of sleep one aid, using only integer values, and since there is not a clear way to measure the average amount of sleep and were just asking for estimates, the accuracy of the values can be assumed to be low.


Michigan, University Of. "Gender and Sleep Duration among American Adults." Gender a Nd S L Eep Dur a T I on a Mong Amer I C a N Adul T S (2010): 1-40. June 2010. Web. 7 Sept. 2015.