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.
SAMPLE TEST FORM
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?
2) What color was the messengers clothing?
3) What was the messengers hair color?
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
5) What did the messenger hand the instructor/manager?
› An envelope
› A large/thick book
› A folder
› A pen and pencil
· 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.
LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
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.