What would be the Problems in Measuring Each of These Variables?


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Write down several possible response variables.


After your lab classes on Wednesday/Thursday in week 3, we will be conducting some experiments with paper planes. Each person will receive a paper plane which they will have to assemble (guaranteed very easy!) and in groups of Four you will be flying these planes and thinking about how to answer the following question:

Which of the four planes in your group flies the best? Record down the names of these planes, not just their colors.

Each person has 3 throws of each of these four planes. That means each person will have 12 throws in total.

During the lab session you should consider the following:

What is the response variable? Write down several possible response variables. What would be the problems in measuring each of these variables? Now choose one or two for your experiment. You may make a few pre-experiment throws if you wish to help you decide on your response variable (i.e. these throws are not included in your allocation of 12).
Remember we only care about the performance of the plane independent of the thrower. How would you suggest that the experiment be carried out given that each person may make a total of 12 throws?
Now carry out the experiment with your group members and record the results of all 48 throws. This means that for each measurement of the response variable you also need to record the plane and the thrower and the order in which each throw has taken place.

After the session each person will individually write a short summary of the issues involved in how to answer the question of which of the four planes in your group flies the best. Include your thoughts on each of the points mentioned above and some descriptive statistics and some appropriate graphs summarizing and comparing the data you collected. For this task you are not expected to carry out any hypothesis tests or ANOVA.
In answering this question you should focus on thinking logically. This is not a test of sophisticated statistical terminology. Write down in your own words your thoughts on the issues involved in how to design this comparative experiment and your recommendations.

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