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Lesson 5: Time Perception Experiment

Lesson 5: Time Perception Experiment


Students will engage in a collectively designed experiment.


  1. RStudio’s stopwatch() function

  2. IDS UCLA App or Browser-Based survey-taking tool

Essential Concepts:

Essential Concepts:

Designing and carrying out an experiment helps us answer specific statistical questions of interest.


  1. Begin the lesson by eliciting the elements of an experiment from students (they may refer back to their DS journals for their responses from Lesson 2).

  2. Inform students that they will be using RStudio to get a precise measurement of their estimate. Ask for a student volunteer.

  3. Demonstrate the stopwatch function using RStudio by typing in the following code:

    > stopwatch()

  4. Then, ask the student volunteer to stand in front of your computer and get ready to estimate the length of time of one minute without looking at a clock. Once he/she thinks a minute has passed, ask him/her to press the enter/return key on the keyboard to see the result of the estimate.

  5. Inform students that you have just demonstrated how they will measure their one-minute estimates.
  6. Begin conducting the experiment by reviewing the research question:

    How does our perception of time change when exposed to a stimulus?

  7. Refer back to the experiment design.

  8. Review the specific treatment that the subjects in the treatment group will receive. If necessary, demonstrate to the treatment group how to do the experiment. For example, if standing with open arms is the stimulus, the estimate begins when the student starts the stopwatch() function and engages in the stimulus, and ends when the subject presses enter/return in RStudio to stop the timer.

  9. For the control group, the students can simply sit at their desks with their eyes closed. Each student will run the stopwatch() function and stop the timer when they believe a minute has elapsed.

  10. Conduct the experiment in its entirety. Use team roles effectively to ensure the experiment is done correctly.

  11. Have each student use a computer and the stopwatch() function to record her/his estimate of one minute. Ensure each student records her/his estimate in the DS journal.

  12. When the experiment is completed, have students enter their data in the Time Perception survey found in the Survey Taking Tool at or by using the IDS UCLA App in their iOS or Android devices.

  13. Inform students that they will be analyzing the results from the experiment in Lab 3A: The results are in!

Class Scribes:

One team of students will give a brief talk to discuss what they think the 3 most important topics of the day were.

Next Day

LAB 3A: The results are in!

Complete Lab 3A prior to Practicum.