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Imagine you have been asked to create an experimental design to test the hypothesis that talking on a cell phone

impairs driving skills. Explain why a control condition would be important to include in testing this hypothesis. How should subjects be assigned to conditions? How can the researchers design the experiment so that the only difference between both conditions is the use of a cell phone? There is much discussion on whether or not talking on a cell phone impairs driving and by how much. There are several things that need to be done within a test on dangers of talking on a cell phone while diving. In order to keep the test fair, the right subjects need to be tested in the right conditions and with a control. To make sure the test is valid and scientific the researchers must make sure the experiment is regulated in all these areas to test the hypothesis. First part of the test is to make sure the control illustrates regular driving conditions. A closed course should be used in order to limit the danger of the test. There should also be a lack of stimuli such as speaking with a passenger or the radio being on. Without limiting the conditions then the addition of a cell phone could not be conclusive in causing the impairment. The control must be done to compare the conditions of the cell phone drivers. Next would assigning subjects to the test. Those involved should be both male and female, and should be chosen from a wide range of ages, due to the impairment caused by age and experience while driving. The subjects should be given the chance to drive in the same conditions and at the same time of day, with the same vehicle. Then would be to make sure the test is fair for those in the control as compared to those driving while on the cell phone. In order to keep the driver’s abilities out of the equation even more, the subjects should drive first in the control conditions, then while on the phone. With all of the variables in the test separated it would be easiest to identify cell phones as the danger to driving. If the test is administered properly then the experiment should be valid, even if it is does not necessarily mean the cell phone causes all the danger. The control needs to be set up correctly. The correct subjects need to be chosen from a range of demographics. A fair test can only be done if the individual subjects can experience both the control and the course while talking on the cell phone. If there is evidence towards the hypothesis then another test could be set up to validate the evidence even further.