Strenuous Studying

Question

Does gender affect time spent studying out of school (including homework time)?

Hypothesis

Women will report studying more hours per day than men will.

Type of Investigation

This is a comparative investigation, as it is comparing the genders in terms of study time per day.

Parts of Investigation

Independent Variable: The genders

Dependent Variable: Study time

Control Group: None

Experimental Group: 13 men and 13 women

M=Males

F=Females

Analysis

Gender has no effect on the amount of hours outside of school spent studying per day for upperclassmen at Coppell High School. Men studied approximately 3 hours a day, on average, while women studied 3.9 hours a day. However, there were some significant outliers, with one male student reporting only 1.5 hours of study per day and a female student reporting 6 hours. To help clarify the relationship between the two averages, error bars were drawn using the standard error of the mean. The error bars overlapped, indicating that the true means of both data were likely to be insignificantly affected by gender. Furthermore, a bar graph of the median hours of study for both genders was created as well to mitigate the effect of outliers on the analysis. With the range of hours used to create error bars, which overlapped greatly, it can further be concluded that gender has no effect on study time. Finally, a t-test resulted in a p-value of 0.09, 0.04 greater than the accepted value for a correlation between variables. Thusly, it can be reliably concluded that in this study, gender had no effect on hours spent studying outside of school per day. However, this conclusion differs from conclusions in other studies. According to a study conducted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, “girls spend five and a half hours per week doing homework while boys spend a little less than four and a half hours,” (The Economist). According to Gwen Kenney-Benson, a psychology professor at Allegheny College, this is because girls “tend to be more mastery-oriented in their schoolwork habits,” (Gnaulati). The reason that this same conclusion wasn’t reached within this sample is likely due to the fact that Coppell High School (CHS) is historically an academically-achieving school. According to the Texas Education Agency, CHS achieved 97 out of 100 points on its Student Achievement Index, exceeding the target score by 47 points in 2013 (TEA). Therefore, the students at CHS are likely to be more studious as a whole, regardless of gender, which is indicated by this study.

Conclusion

Thusly, the hypothesis, while in line with accepted research, was not supported by this experiment; women do not study more than men at CHS.

Sources of Error/Inaccuracies

As this experiment relied on surveyed data, the inaccuracies were likely to come from the reported data itself. The survey asked students the number of hours they studied outside of school per day. Students may have had trouble identifying an accurate number, either because they are not consistent in their study or because they could not remember the exact hours. Ego may also have had an effect on the reports, as students may have reported studying longer hours than they actually studied. Therefore, human error would have caused the majority of errors in the data, and cannot be remedied effectively.

Bibliography

"2013 Accountability Summary." Coppell ISD. Texas Education Agency. Web. 4 Sept. 2015.

Gnaulati, Enrico. "Why Girls Tend to Get Better Grades Than Boys Do." The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, 18 Sept. 2014. Web. 4 Sept. 2015.

Martin, Jennifer. Designing a Scientific Questionnaire Online Poster. Coppell. Print.

"Why Girls Do Better at School than Boys." The Economist. The Economist Newspaper, 6 Mar. 2015. Web. 4 Sept. 2015.