Does Eyesight Influence Staring Contest Performance?

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Author: Sofia PC

Grade Level: 6th - 9th;  Type: Physical-Health Science + Some Behavioral Science


In this experiment, we will find out whether a person's eyesight influences their performance in a staring contest.

Research Questions

Some people see better than others. Some people are better at staring costests than others--that is, they are slower to blink when staring into the eyes of another person. But does the quality of eyesight influence performance in a staring contest? Why might that be the case?

Terms to Know

  • Eyesight
  • Optics
  • The brain
  • The eye
  • Parts of the eye


  • Test subjects: 20 who wear glasses/contacts and 20 who do not
  • Wall
  • Timer
  • Pen/paper for notes

Experimental Procedure

Part I

  1. Note whether your test subject is part of the “imperfect” or “perfect” vision test group.
  2. Have your test subject stare at a wall for as long as they can.
  3. Time how long they stared at the wall without blinking.
  4. Do the above for all your test subjects.
  5. Calculate the average stare-times of both test groups.

Part II- The Contest

  1. Pair up one test subject from the “imperfect” vision group with a person from the “perfect” vision group.
  2. Have them stare into each other's eyes and see which one can hold the longest without blinking.
  3. Note whether the person who comes out as the winner is part of the “imperfect” vision group or the “perfect” vision group.
  4. Count which group had more winners.

Suggested Chart

Part I


Imperfect/Perfect Vision?

Length of Time Stared at Wall w/o Blinking

Test Subject #1









Part II


Who was the winner?
Pair #1


Pair #2


Pair #3


Pair #4




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