Hypothesis and Variables
“Human’s sensory systems of smell are less responsive during the third and fourth stages of sleep (deep sleep stage) than they are during the first and second stages (Random Eye Movement/ REM stage)” is the hypothesis of the research. It is a theory that is to be put to test through a trial and error experiment to determine its validity (Your Dictionary, 2017). The research involves carrying out an experiment on college students who are required to sleep in a laboratory. The students wear a modified oxygen mask through which the researcher uses a devised system to deliver peppermint fragrance at specific times while the students sleep. Each student’s chin, face and scalp have electrodes attached to it to determine the sleep staging. Other electrodes are attached to the students’ chest to detect changes in their heart rates which would mean that a student detected the odor.
The independent variable in the research is the peppermint fragrance. It is the variable that is changed and controlled by the researcher (Helmenstine, 2018). This he does by delivering it at specific times on the sleeping students. The independent variable is a qualitative variable since it does not imply a numerical ordering (Ziemer, n.d.). It concerns with the quality of the variable and not its quantity. The sleeping students’ reaction to the independent variable is the dependent variable in the experiment. The researcher might want to use multiple dependent variables so as to have a wide scope of results that enhance the validity of the overall research analysis and discussion. One of the study’s limitations was having one independent variable. The intensity of different stimulus can affect the response of the dependent variable. To correct this limitation, the researcher should use a large group of participants and divide them to have those who will have mild, medium and high intense odor tests.
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