Following instructions is an important skill used by everyone. For our psychology project, we wanted to find out which gender, and which grade level, followed instructions better. We hypothesized that if we randomly chose two males and two females from each grade level, and they were given a set of instructions to follow while being videotaped, then the sophomore males would follow directions better than the others tested. .
Before we started testing our subjects, we prepared a set of silly instructions to hand to the participants. The instructions included everything from "touch your nose four times with you left finger," to "tap dance while singing three blind mice." At the top of the instructions, we asked them to answer three questions: "are you male or female, how old are you, and what grade are you in." The instructions clearly stated that they should read every activity carefully before starting. From there, they could start the experiment. The last instruction on the set told the reader not to do any of the activities. .
To test our subjects, we went into the sixth period lunch, and asked students if they would participate in our psychology experiment. Many declined, but we eventually got them involved. Our first subject was a 14 year old male in ninth grade. Instead of reading the instructions, he went through and did everything the sheet said. When he finally got to the end, he was extremely embarrassed, and told us we tricked him. After we showed him that it clearly said to read everything before he started, he laughed. All of the ninth graders followed suit, except for one of the females. She answered the first three questions, then skimmed the instructions. She didn't read very carefully though, be cause she started to do the activities. When she got through the first page, she skimmed through the papers again, and then realized she wasn't supposed to have started them in the first place.