# statistics

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21. Payne (2001) gave participants a computerized task in which they first see a
face and then a picture of either a gun or a tool. The task was to press one button
if it was a tool and a different one if it was a gun. Unknown to the participants
while they were doing the study, the faces served as a “prime”
(something that starts you thinking a particular way) and half the time were of a
black person and half the time of a white person. Table 2–8 shows the means
and standard deviations for reaction times (time to decide if the picture is of a
gun or a tool) after either a black or white prime. (In Experiment 2, participants
were told to decide as fast as possible.) Explain the results to a person who has
never had a course in statistics. (Be sure to explain some specific numbers as
well as the general principle of the mean and standard deviation.)
8 Mean Reaction Times (in Milliseconds) in Identifying
Guns and Tools in Experiments 1 and 2

Prime
Black White
Target M SD M SD
Experiment 1
Gun 423 64 441 73
Tool 454 57 446 60
Experiment 2
Gun 299 28 295 31
Tool 307 29 304 29

• statistics -

Since you don't indicate what test(s) you are using, it is harder to explain.

Is the variation in means or standard deviations significant or due to chance? That would be a good starting point.

The teacher wants to know if you understand what is happening. If you can explain something clearly to others, this indicates that you understand. Do you?

I hope this helps.

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