Heart Rate Experiment
All members of the health care profession are scientists and are expected to communicate scientifically. To this end we will be conducting an experiment in lab over the course of the semester that will culminate in an individual writing assignment that is due on Week 14. The assignment will meet all the requirements for a scientific paper including proper American Psychological Association (APA) format (see apaatyle.org). In this handout and throughout the semester we will discuss what is required each step of the way.
Part 1: The Scientific Method
1) Observe a phenomenon. All scientific inquiry begins with observing something and asking: Why or how? Scientists are by nature curious folk and they want answers.
2) Construct a hypothesis. A hypothesis is the best guess of what is happening. It is important when starting out to form many different hypothesizes our whole goal will be to find ways to prove them wrong. The hypothesis should only target a single thing to be manipulated; we want to know what the cause is and be as exact about it as possible.
3) Design an experiment. The experiment should attempt to account for and limit all potential variables, leaving only the independent variable to be examined.
4) Form a prediction based on your hypothesis. We need to form a prediction to compare the results of the experiment to before we conduct the experiment. It is too easy to do something and simply think “sure, that’ll work,” and say that it validated our claim. Science cannot and does not do this. We need to know what we should find to validate the hypothesis before conducting the experiment to remove this possibility of bias.
5) Test your hypothesis via an experiment. Now that everything is ready we get to conduct the experiment.
6) Compare results of experiment to predicted results to form a conclusion. Did the results of the experiment fit the predicted results? How do you know? You must run a statistical analysis to be sure that this data is not caused by random chance.
7) Test again and publish results. We publish scientific data to apprise our colleagues of our discoveries and allow them to conduct the experiment for themselves. This has a second goal as well, it allows other scientists to look over our work and find any potential error within it. In fact there are many scientists who build their reputation on breaking down the publications of others, this is a good thing. While we may have supported or refuted our hypothesis it is important that we test it again using different techniques to ensure that the hypothesis will continue to stand up. Only through the constant analysis of others can we feel confident that our findings are bringing us closer to understanding the true reason behind an observation.
Independent variable:The independent variable is usually the target of the study. This is the variable that you will be changing within experimental procedure. It is the cause in the cause and effect. In our experiment you will be given a list of optional independent variables to choose from. This list will be presented in a presence absence format (yes or no). We do this because of the information that we wish to obtain from other students must be limited. We cannot take a survey of everything they have or will ever do and a full family history.Also, please remember that an independent variable is something that we must be able to manipulate. This is why science has never and can never validate the existence of a God. In order to test it scientifically we would need to be able to control and manipulate a divine being, something that by definition is impossible.
Dependent variable:The dependent variable is something that you will measure to see the effect of the independent variable. The dependent variable should depend on the independent variable. It is the effect in the cause and effect statement. It must be something that can be quantified, in our experiment we will focus on heart rate.
Control:The control is the “base line reading.” In science there are many variables that we cannot control (barometric pressure, the daily temperature, ect.) in order to understand if our findings are caused by the independent variable or this uncontrolled variable we must know if there would a be change if we were to do nothing. This is the function of the control group. The control group should be run in sync with the experiment but we simply do not manipulate the independent variable.
Hypothesis and variables: How do they interrelate? A hypothesis is often an If… then… statement. If I alter the independent variable then we will see a dictated effect on the dependent variable. Please remember that a hypothesis is not a fact even when it has been supported. Facts are the things that we initially observe. A hypothesis can always be refuted by another experiment. A theory is what a hypothesis can become if it survives rigorous testing and explains a broad set of observations. But even a theory can be refuted by one experiment. Science is literally in the business of proving itself wrong.
Scientific papers need to contain:
Abstract: a quick synthesis of the entire paper. This should be written last. The abstract generally contains 2-3 sentences that summarize the introduction, 2-3 sentences that describe the materials and methods and results sections and 2-3 sentences that summarize the conclusion.
Introduction: The foundation of the experiment including but not limited to: the initial observation, previous research,hypothesis, goals for the experiment, predicted result.
Materials and Methods: What did you measure? How did you measure it? Why did you measure it? What statistics were used to interpret the data?
Results: What are your findings? How do you show significance? Interpret your statistical analysis. Important note: Never alter your data. This is a major ethical issue in science. If your predicted results were not supported then give reasons why, do not alter your data!
Conclusion: Similar to the introduction but a synthesis of what you did and how it relates to your expected results. This is where you discuss what it all means.
Citations: You should have at least 5 sources. These sources must be per reviewed journal articles. They should be cited throughout the text of the paper along with the main citation at the end of the paper.Important note: While we are using APA format in the paper you should not use direct quotations within the paper itself. Scientific papers use paraphrasing to reference the work of others, this paraphrasing still needs citation mind you.
Part 2: Data collection and your hypothesis
Forming a hypothesis:
We will be doing things slightly outside of the norm in this course. We will give you a wide array of variables to choose from to build your hypothesis. This will be important because resources are limited and we want to have a large volume of data for you to work with. The format will be in the manner of “will ________ cause an increase/decrease of overall heart rate.” You will need to formulate your expected result immediately after forming your hypothesis. We wouldn’t want our data to skew our opinion. Please see the earlier discussion about a hypothesis for more ideas on how to write yours.
You will be asked to fill out an anonymous survey that asks questions about the following variables:
What is your age?
What is your height? Weight?
Do you smoke, how often?
Do you exercise, how often?
Do you drink Coffee, how often?
Do you drink Soda?How often?
Do you drink Energy drinks?How often?
Do you eat breakfast?How often?
Do you eat dinner?How often?
External (room) temperature
Do you Sleep, how much last night (hours)?
Stress level (are you a commuter or resident?): Please take your pulse before and after Exam 1.
This survey will be handed in along with the data you collect. Please be sure that you use your most recent information.
You will need to take your resting pulse in multiple situations. Most of these can be taken outside of the classroom. See the Data Collection Sheet for the full list of times and situations. One of the trials within the experiment will be the effect of heart rate on exercise. To measure this we will need to obtain your heart rate before and after exercise. First we must obtain your resting pulse.Please see the taking a radial pulse indent below the experimental design indent. You will be asked to participate in 5 minutes of exercise on an exercise bike. Then you will take your pulse again. These must be taken promptly after the exercise is completed. You will take you pulse a third time, five minutes after the exercise is completed. We have a supply limitation on the exercise bikes that are available to obtain this data so we will perform this experiment over the course of several labs.
My resting pulse:
My pulse immediately following exercise:
My pulse 5minutes after exercise:
Taking a Radial Pulse
Think back to BIO 201, where was the radius located? Hopefully you remember that when we are in anatomical position the radius is on the lateral side of the antebrachium. Please place your second and third phalanges on the most distal anterior portion of the radius. Move around until you feel a pulse. This is your radial artery. In order to determine how many heart beats you have in one minute simply count the beats while watching a timer count down from one minute. We should have multiple stopwatches in the lab so make sure that you are concentrating on your pulse, not the time.
Part 3: Data analysis
Descriptions for how to perform statistical analysis in Microsoft excel will be made available through links in Loudcloud. Please be sure to keep an eye out for this information. Please note that all directions and formatting will be in Microsoft products. If you do not have Microsoft products then please use one of the on campus computer labs. The papers will be graded in Microsoft products and any formatting errors from transferring the materials will be graded as formatting errors.
Part 4: Scientific research
How to find papers in the library:
We will have a librarian coming to class on week _ to give us a brief overview on how to find resources in the library. There will be additional supplemental materials posted on Loudcloud.
We will reference the APA website for proper formatting. See the GCU library, apa.org or apastyle.org for more information.
Part 5: The paper and grading.
The rubric will be posted and available in the Loudcloud classroom.
Important note: There will be deadlines within the course that must be met. The declaration of hypothesis, data analysis, rough draft and final draft must all be in on time. Each one will accumulate for overall calculation of GCU late penalties. So an example would be that if your rough draft was 2 days late and your declaration of hypothesis was one day late your final paper would count as being 3 days late and lose a total of 15% from its overall grade.
Part 6: Turning the paper in.
The paper must be turned into the Turnitin dropbox by the end of week 14 (Sunday at Midnight) in the Loudcloud classroom.
Week 1-4: We will be collecting data throughout the class periods. Have your data collection sheet with you. You will also be asked to have an individual hypothesis to turn in by the end of the fourth lab.
Week 6-8: You will receive the data spreadsheet to begin analysis.
Week 9-12: Analyze data and write a rough draft. Turn in rough draft by the end of week 12. Revisions will be based off of general statements; do not expect every coma to be evaluated by your instructor. Paper will be revised in the order they are received so do not wait until the last minute.
Week 12-14: Final revisions should be completed by the student in this time frame. You should seek out additional help from the CLA writing center.
Week 14: Turn in your final draft.