The Effect of Age on Reaction
Time
Rose Seabrook
Problem: How does the age of a person
affect their reaction time?
Hypothesis: If a person is in the age range
10-25 years old, then they will have the
fastest reaction time.
Basic Concepts

Reaction Time
–

Visual Cortex
–

Visually processes information and patterns
Motor Cortex
–

Interval of time between application of a stimulus
and detection of response
Plans, controls, executes voluntary functions
Reticular Formation
–
–
Filters incoming stimuli
Governs the functions of major organisms
Purpose of Experiment
To discover why people in the age group
10-25 are better in sports, but, are
more likely to get into car accidents.
Design Diagram
Title: The effect of the age of a person on their
reaction time
Hypothesis: If a person is in the range 10- 25 years
old then, they will have the fastest reaction time.
IV: age
Level 10-25 26-35 36-45 46-55 56-70
Trials 20
20
20
20
20
Design Diagram Cont.
DV: Distance Ruler Falls (cm)
Constants: height ruler is dropped from,
height at which the person catches the
ruler, and the weight of the ruler.
Results
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
1025
14
13
10
17
20
8
1
11
18
7
7
14
18
19
20
22
23
17
16
23
2635
17
15
16
14
14
13
18
12
9
16
14
27
15
20
20
19
22
15
20
16
3645
17
22
21
18
19
20
18
22
12
13
13
20
21
14
18
26
11
10
12
19
4655
22
26
27
25
28
11
17
19
22
5
24
7
16
22
30
13
15
12
25
17
5670
28
21
26
30
27
29
30
23
26
26
19
15
23
10
28
29
26
16
24
27
Results Cont.
Averages
 10-25: 14.9
 26-35: 16.6
 36-45: 17.3
 46-55: 19.3
 56-70: 24.15
Statistical Analysis
ANOVA
Sum of
Square
Difference
Degrees of
Freedom
Mean
Squared
Fisher FValue
Significance
(p)=.05
Between
Groups
1, 006.46
4
251. 615
8.292
<0.001
Within
Groups
2, 882. 83
95
30. 346
N/a
N/a
Total
3, 889.29
99
N/a
N/a
N/a
•data is of significance because the p value is <.05
• 1/1000 chance that data occurred by chance
Graphed Data
QuickTime™ and a
decompressor
are needed to see this picture.
Conclusions

Hypothesis Supported
–

Reticular Formation
–
–

10-25 have a faster reaction time
Tasks become routine, brain receives less
stimulation, lower levels of activity
Slows down memory and reaction time as you
age
Visual and Motor Cortex
–
Slow down with age
Sources of Error

Area Watched
–

Attention Span
–

Readiness
Human Error
–

Ruler or hand
Measurement
Alcohol Influence
–
Inhibits reaction time
Improvements
Designate an area to watch
 Warn subject when ruler will be
dropped
 No alcohol in subjects system

Extensions and Applications
Alcohol content on reaction time
 Gender on reaction time

Driving
 Sports

THE END