Chapter 1 First Impression

I chose to watch the mini Myth about changing lanes while driving. All this time, I thought that if you stayed in one lane then you will ultimately get to a place faster than if you were to change lanes.  After watching this short clip I did notice however some things that were positive about the experiment and some things that were negative about the experiment.

The positive things about the experiment were that as a group, “The Myth Busters” collectively came up with scientific questions that they could then use to form a hypothesis.  They also had a solid hypothesis about what they expected to occur through testing the experiment.  Along with the positive things come the negative things that were evident throughout the experiment.

The negatives of the experiment were that there were some controls that were not actually controlled. For example, each car could go different speeds. This meaning that at one point, one car could be speeding and going over the speed limit while the other was following the speed limit. There were also other parts of the experiment that did not follow the steps of the scientific process.

These steps include the analysis of the data, review of the data by peers, and for a theory to be built.  Because I viewed a shortened version of the actual episode, this could be the reason that I did not witness these steps.  Another negative to the experiment was that the other drivers on the road could not be controlled. Therefore, the two test drivers were at variation of the other drivers of the road. This could be improved by using a simulation instead of actual people driving on the road.  This way the other variables could be controlled by the computer.  Also, the way that the drivers was not shared, but however they were selected could have also impacted the way that the experiment was completed.  If the drivers were not selected at random, then a form of bias could have been used in selecting who would drive what car. The drivers should have been selected at random so that there could not be any type of bias when it came to who would drive the cars.

~Taylor

 

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One thought on “Chapter 1 First Impression”

  1. Hey Taylor! I’m glad you brought up some different things the researchers could have done to make this an experiment more embedded in the scientific method, because that is a good thing to practice. This brings up external validity versus interntal validity of an experiment. When an experiment has external validity, it can be applied more to the real world. When an experiment has internal validity, its methods are procedural and adhere more to a lab-setting, as you suggested with the simulation. This is a hard balance to strike, especially when testing things like driving. The road is unpredictable and all of the drivers on it are variables. To account for this, as you mentioned was a weakness, maybe multiple trials could have been conducted, since each trial would be different. The more trials, the more accurate and applicable your results will become.

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