Grade Level: 6th to 8th; Type: Social Science
The objective of this experiment is to evaluate whether praise improves athletic performance.
- Do people who receive praise perform better compared to those who are not praised?
- Do specific age groups or genders respond better to praise?
Can praise lead to improvements in performance? In this experiment, you will evaluate this question by observing test subjects’ athletic performance before and after receiving praise. You will compare this group’s performance to a control group that is not praised.
- Approximately 40 test subjects
- Notebook for recording and analyzing results
- Recruit test subjects for your study. Include male and female test subjects in a variety of age groups. Do not tell them what you are investigating in your experiment or that they will be asked to run more than once.
- Ask a test subject to run a 50 yard dash.
- Record the time it takes for the run to be completed.
- After the test subject completes the run, tell them that they had an excellent time and were faster than all the other subjects you have studied thus far. Include any other additional praise that you can think of.
- Wait 5 minutes and ask the test subject to repeat the run.
- Record their time. Record how much faster or slower their second run was.
- Repeat steps 2-6 with 20 test subjects.
- Now, repeat steps 2-6 with your other group of 20 test subjects (your control group). For this group do not perform step 4. This group should not receive praise after the first run.
- Analyze your results. What was the average improvement in time between run one and run two in the group that was praised? How did this compare to average improvement in the group that was not praised? Within each group, divide your test subjects by age group or gender. Do certain groups of people seem to respond better to praise than others?
Terms/Concepts: praise and performance
Disclaimer and Safety Precautions
Education.com provides the Science Fair Project Ideas for informational
purposes only. Education.com does not make any guarantee or representation
regarding the Science Fair Project Ideas and is not responsible or liable for
any loss or damage, directly or indirectly, caused by your use of such
information. By accessing the Science Fair Project Ideas, you waive and
renounce any claims against Education.com that arise thereof. In addition, your
access to Education.com's website and Science Fair Project Ideas is covered by
on Education.com's liability.
Warning is hereby given that not all Project Ideas are appropriate for all
individuals or in all circumstances. Implementation of any Science Project Idea
should be undertaken only in appropriate settings and with appropriate parental
or other supervision. Reading and following the safety precautions of all
materials used in a project is the sole responsibility of each individual. For
further information, consult your state's handbook of Science Safety.