An Experimentto Investigate the Effect of Social Facilitation When Performing a Task Word count: 1967 Abstract Theaim of this study was to investigate the effect of social facilitation whenperforming a task based on the study conducted by Triplett (1898) The IV ofthis investigation was: the two conditions: A and B. Performing the experimentindividually or in the presence of others. The DV was the amount of time ittook for the participants to step up and down 50 times in both conditions A andB. It was a repeated measures design.
The sampling method was opportunitysampling. There were 2 conditions. The first group performed condition A first,whereas the second group performed condition A right after. At last they allperformed condition B.
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Condition A consisted of individuals stepping up anddown the flight of stairs alone, and condition B consisted of the individualsstepping up and down in the presence of another participant. The results weresignificant at p< 0.05. Which indicated that the null hypothesis could berejected, and the experimental hypothesis could be accepted. Conclusively, thisshowed that social facilitation plays a role in performing physical tasks word count: 178 Table of Contents Abstract 2 Introduction: 3 Method. 5 Design:.
5 Participants:. 7 Materials:. 7 Results: 8 Inferential 9 Appendices. 12 Introduction: Socialfacilitation is known as the tendency to havean enhanced performance when either competing, or in the presence of others.Social facilitation’s central focus is the change that occurs in a person’sperformance when performing a task alone, compared to performing it in thepresence of another person. Norman Triplett (1898) (1997)is famously known forthis phenomenon: social facilitation.
Norman analyzed the bicycle records from1897. From here he noticed that bicycle racers that raced with others had amuch faster time, than the ones cycling individually. This is one of the racesthat inspired him to conduct his own experiment. In this experiment heinvestigated how fast the children he gathered could turn/spin a fishing reel.
However, this was performed under two conditions. They turned the fishing reelindividually in the first condition, and in the second condition next tosomeone. Reeling next to another participant significantly increased theirperformance. Through his investigation he figured out that when participantsspin next to each other, it makes them competitive. The reason theseparticipants span the reel faster when next to someone, is because of thecompetition that occurs. Individuals tend to experience more arousal whenperforming a task next to someone than when performing it alone. Robert Zajonc (1965) came up with anexperiment that was related to social facilitation. He put cockroaches in amaze with light, where the purpose of it was to get away from the light.
Someof the cockroaches ran in pairs, some ran alone. The results showed that thecockroaches that ran together, tended to finish running through the maze fasterif the task was easy. However, if the task was difficult, the cockroaches’ performancewould decrease (running together). From here he concluded that socialfacilitation can be understood through two components: the presence of others,and the difficulty of the task. Allport (1920) (1987)accepted the theory,as he also noticed that the presence of others can influence someone’sperformance. This is known as the audience effect. The influence this couldhave on the experimental hypothesis of this investigation is the difficultybehind figuring out whether or not it was social facilitation or the audienceeffect that contributed to the boost in the participants’ performance. Theaim of this experiment inspired by Norman Triplett’s experiment, was toinvestigate whether or not performing the task of stepping up and down theflight of stairs, would increase their performance.
However, in condition A itwould be individual and in condition B it would be next to someone. A onetailed hypothesis was chosen as it was expected for the participants tocomplete the 50 steps at a faster pace next to another participant. The targetgroup was Nørre G Pre IB students, and this investigation is a simplereplication of Norman Triplett’s (1898) experiment on social facilitation. H1: The participants will increase their performance in the presence ofothers/competing against others stepping up and down a flight of stairs. H0:The performance will remain the same when in the presence/competing againstother participants stepping up and down the flight of stairs.
MethodDesign: Thedesign used for this experiment was repeated measures. As the experiment wasperformed with the same people twice (n=10), under two different conditions(condition A and B), and the results had to be compared. The students werechosen through opportunity sampling, meaning they were randomly selected.However, keeping in mind the fact that they had the same gender. In our case,the participants were all females. This was a controlled laboratory experiment.It was made sure that instructions were explained tothe participants correctly and precisely.
In order for the participants to notcompete in the condition A, when they stepped up and down the flight of stairs,they were not allowed to communicate while the experiment was going on. Theresults were not disclosed until the end of the repeated measures. In conditionB, participants did not communicate with each other, and it was made sure thatthey understood they should “Complete the 50 steps at their own pace”, when steppingup and down next to another participant. Ethicalconcerns were assured, as a consent form1was signed by all the participants.
The participants were over 18, thereforetheir consent was enough. The participants received brief instructions2before the experiment. They were told that they could withdraw from theexperiment anytime, and their results would remain anonymous. After theexperiment we revealed the purpose behind the experiment by debriefing3.
Acause-and-effect relationship could be established as the experiment wascontrolled. The independent variable of this investigation was: the twoconditions: A and B. Performing the experiment individually or in the presenceof others.
The dependent variable was the amount of time it took for theparticipants to step up and down 50 times in both conditions A and B. Participants: The target population of this experiment was IB students from Nørre G. Theexperiment included 10 participants (n=10). The students were randomly achievedthrough opportunity sampling, because this was the most convenient method. However,keeping in mind they all had the same gender, so there would not be any genderdifferences. In this experiment the students randomly selected were females. Materials: · Consent forms(10) · Timer· Pencil · Paper · Benches · Stopwatch Procedure: Atfirst, the 10 participants received brief instructions, and were asked to signthe consent form. In condition A, the participants ran individually.
However, 5of the participants stepped up and down the flight of stairs 50 times, eachaccompanied by an instructor. They were placed, far away from each other toavoid any competition. Once everyone had finished stepping up and down theflight of stairs individually, they were given a 5-10minute break. Thereafter, the five remaining participants performedthe exact same experiment in condition A (individually), each accompanied by anexperimenter. As soon as everyone finished the 50 steps, all 10participants were asked to step up and down the flight of stairs 50 times nextto another participant in condition B. All of the participants stepped up anddown at the same time. They were specifically told to “Complete the 50 steps atyour own pace”.
This was timed with a stop watch. At last the results in both conditions were read outloud, and the participants were debriefed4about the purpose of the experiment.Results: Table 1: Shows mean of steps taken inboth Condition A (individual) and Condition B (Next to a participant). Thestandard deviation of both conditions. Mean steps taken Standard deviation Condition A (Individual) 54 9.45 condition B (Next to a participant) 46 4.19 Bylooking at the raw data5,it could be seen that there was a difference of 8 between the two conditions Aand B. The standard deviation showed that the results were very spread out.
Themean was chosen because it showed how close the data values were to each other.The standard deviation was chosen because it is a good measure of the variationbetween the results. Figure 1: Y axis showing time taken tocomplete 50 steps, and X axis showing the mean of steps taken in both conditionA and B. Along with this the errors bars are shown. Shows that in condition B it took lesstime to complete the 50 steps up and down, than in condition A, because A has amean of 54, whereas condition B has a mean of 46. Inferential Theexperiment tested repeated measures design. The test used to test statistical significancewas the Wilcoxon Test6.
The W-value was 0. The critical of W for N=10 at p<0.05 is 8. This wascalculated using an online source. The p-value is 0.00512 which is significantat p< 0.05.
This investigation was a one-tailed hypothesis. As there was asignificant difference, this made it possibl to reject the null hypothesis andaccept the experimental hypothesis. Meaning there was a significant differenceor increase in condition B from A. Discussion Triplett’sstudy showed that children spinning a fishing reel in the presence of othersdoing it, increased their performance. Furthermore, this investigation alsoshowed that the Pre-IB students’ performed significantly better when steppingup and down the flight of stairs in the presence of another student. However, even though there was a significant increase inperformance in condition B (Next to a participant), the amount of students thatparticipated were only 10, at the age of 18. This limits the extent to whichthe results can be generalized to an entire population.
The experiment was acontrolled laboratory experiment, meaning it had a low ecological validity. Amore varied target population and a larger sample, would make it easier togeneralize. E.g. In Triplett’s study there was a total of 40 students betweenthe age 8-17. Eventhough the instructions clearly indicated that they needed to step up and downthe flight of stairs in condition B (next to a participant) at their own pace,the word competition was avoided. However, the fact that there was a form ofsubtle competition cannot be ignored, since as Allport (1920) mentions in hisstudy the mere presence of another person working hard on the same task canboost/increase their performance. This is known as co-action effect.
Anotherlimitation in this study, could be the presence of an audience, someone who isnot performing the task. This is known as the audience effect introduced byAllport (1920). While the Pre-IB students were stepping up and down the flightof stairs both in condition A (Individually), and condition B (Next to aparticipant), in the presence of an instructor and also an another studentperforming the same task. This is a confounding variable, as the mere presenceof the instructor could have boosted their performance. This confoundingvariable makes it hard to figure out whether or not it was the instructor orthe participant running next to the participant that boosted their performancein condition B. In order to modify this and prevent audience effect in bothcondition A and B, the use of a mechanical device to count the time taken tostep up and down the flight of stairs 50 times, would erase the audienceeffect. Another limitation found is the fact that all theparticipants were kept in the same room. The students were told not to speak toeach other after performing their task, however, their performance could beseen physically.
They could be panting because of the amount of hard work theyput into fulfilling the task. To modify this, it would be a good idea to keepthe students separately to erase this limitation. Students whom had justperformed the task, would be send to another room, instead of the one where thestudents that have not performed were waiting. Robert Zajonc’ (1965) drive theory, mentions that thecomplexity of a task also contributes to a person’s performance. The easier thetask is, the better the participant will perform.
However, the experimenthowever was quite easy, as it only required the students to step up and downthe flight of stairs at their own pace in both conditions A and B. It did notrequire for the students to have any specific knowledge, that they needed tokeep in mind. The results showedthat the difference in mean was 8, and furthermore this difference was found tobe significant 0.05. The aim of the experiment was toinvestigate whether or not the pre-IB students would increase their performancewhen stepping up and down the flight of stairs next to another participant.
Conclusively, the one tailed hypothesis, that participants increase theirperformance when performing with others, compared to when performing alonesuggests that the Triplett (1898) study can be accepted. 1See Appendix 12See Appendix 23 See Appendix 34 See Appendix 35 See appendix 3 and 46 See Appendix 5