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Hypothesis testing of the observation ablitiesdifferences of


What is true in the eyes of one, can be seen as a delusion in

another. We, as a society, are made up of a dramatically diverse amalgam

of cultures and abilities. Finding out what those differences are can help

us reach a better understanding of each other, thus a more equitable

relationship can be developed. Therefore, finding the observational

abilities of a given group may help yield some interesting and valuable


In the following study several groups were tested on their

observational abilities. In order to develop such a test, it was necessary

to devise a structured approach for gathering and interpreting the

information. Therefore, the scope of the test was formulated based on

hypothesis testing. The following hypothesis was established as the

criterion for the test:

Null hypothesis (Ho) :

Males and females do not have different observational abilities

Alternative Hypothesis (H1) :

Males and females do have different observational abilities


The study consisted of 3 groups of varying size and structure.

During the initial phase, the members of the study were unaware that

any test was being conducted. The locations of the test were Wilford

Hall Medical Center : Primary Care Meeting, University of the Incarnate

Word : World Literature Class, and University of Texas at San Antonio :

Business Statistics Class. The sample sizes and constructs were as


Wilford Hall Medical Center : 30 people - 19 (F) 11 (M)

University of the Incarnate Word : 19 people - 9 (F) 10 (M)

University of Texas at San Antonio: 32 people - 11 (F) 21 (M)

The test subjects were all presented with the same scenario, given the

normal degree of variation. The procedure of the test was as follows:

· The instructor/manager was advised that a test would be

conducted sometime during the period.

· A male messenger with black hair and wearing a blue shirt

and slacks, would enter the room unannounced.

· The messenger would hand an envelope to the instructor.

· The messenger would then say, "This is from Debbie".

· The messenger would then exit the room.

The instructor/manager had been asked to wait 10 minutes, then the

instructor/manager would pass out a form for the respondents to fill

out (Results: Sample Form).

All the data was compiled and corrected, then the data was inputted

into the SPSS statistical program for analysis. Each correct answer

on the form was given a value of 10 and each incorrect answer was given

a value of 0. The male and female respondents were analyzed individually

by sex and group (Results: Descriptives), Then the relevant scores and

data of the groups were evaluated against each other (Results: Observation

Test - Mean Scores).


The following pages contain a sample test and the output of data

retrieved from the study. The programs used to evaluate and display the

data were the SPSS Professional Statistical Software and Microsoft Excel.


Please answer the following questions about the messenger that had

previously entered the room. If you do not know the correct response

then choose the "unknown" option, please do not guess. Thank You!

1) Was the messenger male or female?

› Male

› Female

› Unknown

2) What color was the messengers clothing?

› Red

› Black

› Tan

› Blue

› Gray

› Unknown

3) What was the messengers hair color?

› Blond

› Brown

› Auburn

› Black

› Unknown

4) What did the messenger say to the instructor/manager?

› How are you today

› This is from the Dean

› This is a nice day

› This is from Debbie

› Unknown

5) What did the messenger hand the instructor/manager?

› An envelope

› A large/thick book

› Nothing

› A folder

› A pen and pencil

› Unknown

· Upon completion of this evaluation, please return it to the

instructor/manager. This has been a study to evaluate the observational

abilities of men and women. All information will be for the sole use

this study. Thank you for your assistance.


According to the analyzed data from this study, the Ho: Males

and Females do not have different observational abilities, would be false.

Therefore, the H1: Males and Females do have different observational

abilities, would be true. The basis for this conclusion are as follows:

· All the mean scores of the female respondents were higher

than that of the male respondents.

· Individually, the majority of the female respondents

answered more of the questions correctly.

· Individually, the majority of the male respondents answered

more of the questions incorrectly.


In any study it is equally important to understand the limitations,

as well as prove the hypothesis. Therefore, it is necessary to outline

the potential shortcoming of this study. The primary limitation of this

study is the sweeping generalization of observation abilities, based solely

on one scenario. In order to develop a more accurate conclusion, many more

scenarios and elements would need to be implemented. The element of

surprise could also be considered a possible limitation, for the

participants may not have been in the frame of mind to be tested. Having

only one trial per group and taking into account the small population size,

these elements could lend themselves to skewing the results adversely. The

element of bias was not a consideration in the overall conclusions.

Therefore, several potential bias could enter the study, such as that men

may not normally notice personal attire, nor that any degree of attention

may be paid to another male. The male may take more notice of a female

messenger than that of a male messenger, and vise versa for the female.

The test in itself was limited in scope and application. The test was an

all or nothing scoring system, not allowing for "coming close". The

possibility of visual restrictions of the respondents (i.e. poor sight,

color blindness) was not taken into account. Also, the test only had five

questions, all of which were very specific, not allowing for further

observations. Finally, the groups studied all had some degree of higher

education and were all involved in a structured scenario, a classroom or a

meeting. Therefore, this may not represent a proper cross-section of the

general population. As for the general reliability of the study, it would

serve as a good basis for further investigation. Also, it must be taken

into account that the developer and administer of the study is not a

professionally trained researcher. The study unto itself could not be

held to absolute accuracy, nor could it be an integral part of a larger

study, rather it would be best utilized as a point of reference.

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