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Hypotheses and Variables Essay

The hypothesis of the research study was that human beings are less responsive to the sense of smell during the deep sleep stage of sleep than they are during the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) stage. It is an empirical hypothesis that involves an assumption whose truth or false can only be confirmed after it is tested in an experiment (Farooq, 2013). College students were used as the sample for the experiment. The researcher devised an odour delivering system which he used at specific times on the students who were required to sleep in the laboratory. He attached electrodes on each student’s chin, scalp and face to determine the sleep staging. Peppermint fragrance was delivered to the sleeping student using a modified oxygen mask. The peppermint fragrance was the independent variable in the research study. The researcher controls it to test its effects on the dependent variable (Helmenstine, 2018). This he does by delivering it at specific times on the sleeping students whose reactions to the odour is the dependent variable. Electrodes attached to each student’s chests helped to detect changes in their heart rates after administration of the independent variable at specific times of their sleep which would indicate that the participant detected the odour. Peppermint fragrance which is the independent variable in the experiment is a qualitative variable. It bears inherent qualities which are specific to itself (MBA, Statistics For Management, 2013). Its value does not imply a numerical ordering (Ziemer, n.d.). The researcher might want to use multiple dependent variables so as to insure for spoilt tests that may come about as a result of such conditions as insomnia or inability to continue to the deep sleep stage after detection of the odour in the REM stage. Choice of one odour is a limitation to the study. The researcher only used the peppermint fragrance whose odour might be too mild or too concentrated. He should have used odours of different concentrations such as mild, medium and high on the same participants in different days.

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