What Percentage of drivers come to a complete stop?

What Percentage of drivers come to a complete stop?

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Field Research Project 1- What percentage of drivers come to a complete stop?

In this assignment, you’ll play the role of a psychologist studying driving behavior using two research methods: naturalistic observation and survey. You will write a

report comparing your results from the two methods. There is no page requirement for the report, but it should be thoughtful and thorough.

Generate two hypotheses (your prediction about what will happen)
Hypothesis 1- Explain whether you expect the observation or survey method to yield more “complete stoppers” and why.
Hypothesis 2- Come up with a hypothesis that you find interesting, based on gender OR type of car (e.g., expensive vs. inexpensive; SUV vs. sedan, etc.). You will need

to collect enough data to test this hypothesis. For example, if you believe SUVs will stop less than sedans, then be sure to observe an equal number of SUVs and

sedans, or an equal number of men and women. This may require you to observe more than 20 drivers. This second hypothesis should be based only on the observation

methods. Again, explain your reasoning for your prediction.
Define “complete stop” and “almost stops completely”.
Position yourself a distance away from the stop sign, but where you can observe the stopping behavior at an intersection with a 4- way stop sign. Campus is a great

place. Discreetly record the behavior of at least 20 drivers who approach the intersection when it is empty (no waiting cars or pedestrians). It’s okay if there are

cars behind them. Note- donot stand too close to the stop sign or drivers may stop for you.
To avoid bias, don’t pick and choose people, but try to observe every driver until you reach 10 of each sex.
Be creative so people don’t notice that you are observing them- for example, watch from a distance, pretend to do something, text.
Count the number of drivers who completely stop, and almost completely stop.
Record your data in a chart like this:

Stops completely

Almost stops completely

3. Survey 10 men and 10 women

Print at least 20 copies of the survey below
Collect responses from at least 20 people; include at least 10 adult men and 10 adult women. Tell people that this is 1 minute anonymous survey for your psychology

class. People should respond to the survey ALONE (not discuss with a friend).
Provide a way to give it back without you seeing the answers; for example, have them place it in a large envelope, or let them leave it somewhere for you.
After people finish, thank them for their help.

Ask MTSAC students if they would be willing to take 1 minute anonymous survey for your Intro Psychology class at Mt. San Antonio College.

When you are driving toward a 4-way stop sign and there are no other cars waiting in the intersection, which of the following best describes your behavior?
A) I come to a complete stop

B) I almost stop completely

What type of car do you usually drive? _______________________________
How old are you?___________
Please circle your sex
Thank you for your help! If you have questions about the this survey, please contact Professor Charis Louie at clouie@mtsac.edu


For up to 5 points of extra credit, ALSO distribute the above survey online, to at least 10 men and 10 women in a way that allows them to respond anonymously. Collect

the results.
Record your data in a chart like this:

Stops completely

Almost stops completely

Type of car


Stops completely

Almost stops completely

Type of car


Extra Credit Survey #1

Write your report in paragraph form according to the guidelines below.
Describe the purpose of your study – what were you studying and why? Introduce the two methods you used and explain why you used two different methods.
State all your hypotheses and your reasons for each
Observation Methods

State your definition of the behavior(s) you were observing (e.g., what counted as a complete stop?)

Describe where you did the observation, and how you observed discreetly. Explain how you decided which cars to observe; for example, every 2nd vehicle, or all vehicles

that entered an empty intersection.

State how many drivers you observed. Describe how you kept track of your results. If you worked with someone, describe how you worked together. Describe any challenges

you encountered. Describe others’ reactions to you (if any).

Provide the number of drivers, the percentage of males and females, and a break down of the types of cars
Survey Methods

State how many people you surveyed. Give percentages for sex and types of cars.

Describe where you did the survey, whom you surveyed, how you selected participants and what you told them. Describe how you distributed and collected the survey

anonymously. Describe any challenges you encountered. Describe how you felt passing out the surveys. Describe others’ reactions to you (if any).
Extra credit survey methods

If you did the extra credit online survey, describe which website you used to distributed the survey, how you made it anonymous, how you recruited people to take the

survey, and any challenges you encountered. Describe others’ reactions to the survey (if any).

Give percentages for the respondents’ sex and types of cars
Hypothesis 1: Compare the results of the observation and survey methods (including the results of the extra credit survey if you did this). Refer to the specific

percentages that are in the results table. State whether your results supported your first hypotheses and report the corresponding numbers and percentages.
Hypothesis 2: State if your results supported the hypothesis and report the corresponding numbers and percentages. For example, “More women stopped than men. Fifty

percent of the 20 women that we observed stopped compared to 25% of the 16 men.
Include a results table like the one below. Include information relevant to any additional hypotheses you had in the introduction.
Look at the results- Describe any patterns that you notice


Number and % of complete stoppers



All drivers



Male drivers

Female drivers

Sedan drivers (for example)

SUV drivers (for example)

6. Discussion

Overall, did you results support your hypotheses? Explain. Why do you think you got the results you did? If your hypotheses weren’t supported, give possible reasons

What do the results of the observation and survey tell us about people’s driving? What factors do you think influenced the rates of stopping that you observed or

collected in the survey?
Read about the observation and self-report research methods in Chapter 1 of the textbook; how do the strengths and limitations of each method apply to your results?

Which method (observation or survey) yielded more complete stoppers? Provide possible reasons for this. Which method (observation or survey) do you think yielded the

most accurate information? What makes you think so?
How would you design a study to determine people’s true rate of stopping?
What was it like to do this assignment?
What did you learn about the field of psychology from this assignment?

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