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New Science Fair Projects on Behavior for Wannabe Psychologists


New Science Fair Projects on Behavior for Wannabe Psychologists

by Mort Barish

Word Count: 794 words

Who said that science fair projects always have to be about chemistry, physics and biology? Observing and experimenting with the behavior of people, men and women, young and old, can also be a fascinating and rewarding pursuit. There are many ideas and experiments that elementary and high school students can do for their science fair projects on the subject of how people act and respond under different circumstances.

You will not need much at all in the way of expensive materials or hard to find testing equipment to do these projects on how people behave. For example, if you visit

Project 373 for example requires that the student visit one or more local supermarkets to observe the behavior of the people shopping. You may want to divide the shoppers into four different groups for your experiment for science fair. You will observe boys and girls, men and women. All you require other than a keen sense of observation, is a pad and a pencil. Of course taking photos of what you observe is also a good idea, because judges like to see photos on science fair project displays.

You want to observe behavior, for example, on the checkout line. Do people wait their turn, or are they line crashers? Are men more observant of the rules of getting on line than women? Are girls better behaved than boys? When it comes time to pay the bill, do people fuss for several minutes trying to find their checkbooks, or their money or their credit cards? Or are they ready to pay without making everyone wait interminably while they check out? Do people handle a dozen pieces of fruit before they pick the one or two that they want to buy? Do parents take care of their youngsters or let them run up down the aisles?

This project can be a short course in behavioral psychology. Things about people that would ordinarily go unnoticed now becomes data for scientific observation and data recording for your experiment. If a student does this project, it will raise the level of their powers of observation not only for supermarket behavior but about how people behave in other circumstances.

For example, the student could do another science fair project about how people behave at stop signs. What a fertile place to observe how people react to the rules of the road. Do they stop as they should or do they just slow down a little? Do women behave better at stop signs than men and observe the traffic laws? Are boys more in a hurry than girls and do boys tend to run the stop signs. When you record all of this behavior for science fair projects, you could also check to see whether people who drive large cars like SUV’s behave better than people with small cars? Or you could gather data on whether people behave differently at stop signs over the weekend than during the weekdays. Do people who own sporty cars and convertibles react differently at stop signs? There are many different ways to mix and match a project like this for science fair.

Another interesting experiment when contemplating science fair projects is to test people to see how they are affected by using caffeine which is found in chocolate, tea and coffee. People are supposed to act faster and be a little more hyper when ingesting caffeine. There are many ways to construct tests for science fair projects. You could, for example, have your test group type for a certain period of time. And then later, after feeding the test group with food or drink that contains caffeine, you can test their typing again to determine whether they type any faster after ingesting caffeine than before. There are many other ways to do this science fair project other than by testing typing speed. And it is up to the imagination of the student to decide just how he or she would like to construct the experiment.

The above are just a few of the many different science fair projects to be seen on this web site. There are other interesting projects for science fair such as researching to find out what kind of birds live near your home and what do they eat. Another science fair project helps you to conduct experiments to determine whether people are left handed or right handed. And still another science fair project is all about whether noise affects a persons concentration.

All of these projects and hundreds more can be seen at http://www.terimore.com








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Originally posted 2004-12-17 01:26:35.