Designing a Questionnaire

Chaitanya Kalathuru & Sai Vegasena 3rd Period

Question

Does grade level between freshmen and seniors affect problem solving skills?

Hypothesis

If seniors and freshmen were given a questionnaire about problem solving skills, then the freshman would do better than the senior because their minds are younger and more creative.

Type of Investigation

Comparative Investigation

Parts of the Experiment

Independent: Grade level (Freshmen & Seniors)
Dependent: Number of questions correct on the questionnaire
Control: None
Control Group: None
Experimental Group: The freshman and seniors that are being tested
Factors Held Constant: The questions are the same for both experimental groups and the gender of the subjects were the same for both experimental groups

Data Table

Effect of Grade Level on Problem Solving Skills

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Graphs

Range Error Bars

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2 SEM Error Bars

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Analysis

Grade level between freshmen and seniors does not affect problem solving skills. By referring to the 2 SEM graph and t-tests , it was obvious that the independent variable had no effect on the dependent variable, therefore the difference between the two experimental groups was not statistically significant. The data and mean showed no trend, and it supports the claim that problem solving ability not being grade specific, and it not pertaining to change in class difficulty level throughout the progression of high school. This information can be backed through the p value in the experiment which was calculated to be approximately .435, which means that there is a 44% chance that the null hypothesis was incorrect. This puts a majority of the probability toward the null hypothesis being correct. By examining the error bars of 2SEM, .616 for freshmen and .698 for seniors, it is was clear that there was a huge overlap between the errors bars, and the initial quantities were, without the error bars, .07 questions off. This minuscule margin creates no clear trend of what is going on and can be attributed to confounding factors. The difference in mean is extremely slim considering that the highest possible value is 4, and the range itself is 4. Also, the standard deviation was a high number, 1.11 for freshman and 1.26 for seniors, and it demonstrated the variability of the data. This means that the data was a scattered and inconsistent per person within grade level. This can be attributed to many other factors that could have caused inaccuracies and errors which can be logically understood. This can create a possible conclusion of problem solving ability that reflects how the divergent mind is altered through progression of a student through this school system in terms of problem solving (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iG9CE55wbtY). Since grade level obviously did not hinders student’s ability to solve problems, there has to be other confounding variables that may have affected their problem solving skills. According to the evidence, there is a possible reason that the inherent abilities of each individual, not the grade level, may have influenced the results, which may have caused the variability in the data. Creativity plays a huge role in problem solving and it is said that the fear of being incorrect often hinders creativity (https://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/creativity), and being within a more stimulating environment can improve problem solving skills regardless of the grade level(http://thoughtcatalog.com/brianna-wiest/2015/01/the-inherent-zen-of-creativity/). Overall it can be understood that grade level did not affect creativity this can be seen through the large margin of 2SEM and small difference in mean, and on top of this it can also be understood that creativity lies within the individual as well as within their genetics and nurtured environment through previous psychological studies and the results within this experiment.

Conclusion

The hypothesis was not supported. The independent variable did not have an effect on the dependent variable. The grade level between freshman and seniors did not have a statistically significant effect on problem solving skills.

Sources of Inaccuracies/Errors

The data was conducted through a convenience sample which means that there could have been some bias because we asked people that were easy for us to reach instead of a random sample from the population. The basis of the experiment was that younger people would be more creative because they have had less time to create social boundaries and norms. The range between seniors and freshmen could have created a too small of margin for actual comparison of the young to the new. Four years time is actually a pretty slim margin relative to a human life. Stuck to this margin of grade level , it would have been difficult to study twelve to fourteen year old subjects because access to them would have been difficult. Another source of error could have been a result of the amount of brain teasers and problem questions that were given. Although four questions make the data easier to compare, having more questions would have provided a bigger range to observe potential trends. Also, other factors such as the amount of time the participants have and limited volunteering made it difficult to ask people to spend more than 5 minutes of their time doing the google survey and solving problems. The higher value for freshman was probably due to getting lucky and finding people with more experience solving problems and them having a slightly higher IQ. Divergent thinking and creative problem solving processes particular to specific individuals within the population who would be outliers in any other case also could have skewed the conclusion made about the general public.

Bibliography


"Psychology Today." Creativity. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Sept. 2015. burh that is the bib ill get the links


"Problem-Solving Techniques." Problem-Solving Skills From MindTools.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Sept. 2015.


"Do Schools Kill Creativity?" Ken Robinson:. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Sept. 2015.


Wiest, Brianna. "The Inherent Zen of Creativity." N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Sept, 2015