Observational Abilities Test Essay Research Paper Observational

Observational Abilities Test Essay, Research Paper

Observational Abilities Test


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 information.

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 follows:

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? ? Male ? Female ? Unknown

2) What color was the messengers clothing? ? Red ? Black ? Tan ? Blue ? Gray ?


3) What was the messengers hair color? ? Blond ? Brown ? Auburn ? Black ?


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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