Talking VS. Texting: Effects on Reaction Time Liam Hill


For my project I decided to test how peoples reaction time is affected when they are talking on the phone or texting. Cell phones have become increasingly prominent recently. Many people are inseparable from their phones. We all talk and text every day and I believe it is ruining our reactions

This experiment is very important because most people have their phones on them or even use them while they drive. Talking or texting while driving can impair our ability to react to an emergency situation which could then lead to a serious crash. My experiment will prove whether talking or texting impairs our reaction times more. It is important for people to know what a negative effect these things can have.

This experiment is very closely related to biology and what we are studying in class. Reaction times are a function of the brain. Spending too much time on our phones whether it is texting or calling someone can have negative impacts on our health. This experiment will prove which is worse.


I believe People will have the worst reaction times while texting.

The independent variable is the action performed on the phone and the dependent variable is the reaction time

Methods and Materials:

For my experiment I used a yard stick, a phone, simulated text messages and phone conversations and a calculator

To perform this experiment I sat the test subject down and had him or her put their fingers around the 0cm mark about an inch away on each side. Then I dropped the pole 5 times and measured the distance it traveled before he or she caught it. I found the average of the numbers. This process was repeated two more times with the subject talking on the phone and texting After all 8 subjects were tested I found the average of all the measurements.


The results of this experiment are that texting has a worse effect on reaction time then calling. All except for one subject showed followed this pattern. The average distance while talking on the phone was about 9 inches. The average distance while texting was about 12 inches.


These results proved my original hypothesis. Texting does have the largest impact on our reaction times. This means that texting can pose the largest danger to traffic accidents if someone is texting and driving. More people should know this and pay better attention to the road.


My original hypothesis was correct. I based the hypothesis on the fact that although talking on a phone distracts you because you are paying attention to what is being said, texting distracts you more because you actually have to look and read what is being said instead of just hearing it. This distracts your motor function as well as your thought process.

I learned the true importance of not being a distracted driver. In my research I learned 10 percent of all fatal crashes in the U.S. every year are caused by drivers being distracted by their phones. I think that this statistic will only grow in the coming years due to society's increasing reliance on cell phones.

There are more experiments I would like to look into after performing this one. I would like to look more into driving under the influence. I am interested in studies on this because this is another one of the biggest causes of car accidents. I would like to find out new ways to combat drunk and distracted driving.

This experiment provided me with important information especially in the next few years of my life as I learn to drive. I will certainly not use my phone and especially not text while I drive after finding out how much it affects our reaction times. I think everyone should do something about distracted driving, so what can you do?

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