According to studies people are more
likely to have a better performance when competing against others or when they
are put under the eye of others. This theory (social facilitation) was
initially researched by Norman Triplett in 1898. Triplett noticed that cyclists
had faster times when racing against others compared to when they were racing
alone. Since then, social facilitation theories have changed and have become
more developed after Triplett’s first conclusions and findings.
In my experiment, I aimed to figure out
if people perform better in groups compared to being alone. I presume to reach
this aim by testing the time it took participants to cover a fixed a distance.
I initially timed the participants running alone, and then timed the
participants running against others. There was a huge difference in these times
among all participants in this experiment. All of the participants tested tend
to have a faster time when running against other participants. Social
facilitation is a very precise theory and my experiment helped me to see
realize that more.
“Social facilitation is the tendency
for people to have a better performance when performing simple tasks when under
the eye of others or when competing against another, rather than while they are
alone”. This theory has been proven in a range of studies. The worldliest known
study that has been conducted about social facilitation was by Norman Triplett
Triplett observed the performances
of cyclists while watching a race. He noticed that the participants in the race
showed a better performance and faster times when racing with others instead of
just racing alone. He came to the conclusion that the presence of competitors
played a factor to the major change of outcome in the bikers’ race. This
observation led Triplett’s enthusiasm into exploring the study of social
facilitation. Triplett conducted a study that involved school-age children
turning a fishing reel as fast as the can for a period of time. This led him to
find that when the children worked in pairs their performance was better to
that of when they worked alone.
In my replication of Triplett’s
experiment, I analyzed the presence of social facilitation when people were
running a certain distance. I timed each participant once when running alone
and another time when running together with a group. By comparing the time, my
aim is to determine if the participants perform better in groups compared to
being alone. The independent variable was the number of people racing, and the dependent
variable was the time.
In my experiment, I used the repeated
measures. For the selection of my participants, I had a fifteen participants
choose a group number out of a bucket, to determine the group number they would
be tested with, and they were separated into random groups. Participants were
given the option to opt out at any time during the experiment. I was very
ethical in this experiment. I informed all participants of the procedure and
what will be required of them. All of the subjects were studied at the same
time and the same place to avoid any differences or bias in the experiment.
The materials needed for this
experiment was five stop watches, and pencil and paper with a previously
configured chart (See appendix for chart). It made the process very smooth because I
needed only a few sources of information.
– Pencil, stop watch
Participants were given
the consent form (see appendix for consent form) to sign and turn in
before experiment begins.
introduction and purpose of the experiment is read and explained to
participants by the researcher.
participants divided evenly into three groups of five. Participants picked
a random number out of a cup to make the division not bias.
were separated into different groups.
went first. I timed the participants over a distance of 1 mile which is 4
laps around a track, each at a different time running alone.
tested the participants each when running with the entire group over that same
process was repeated for groups two and three also. All results were
written in my chart.
session was held after the experiment was completed.
My target population was an
opportunity sample. The participants of my study were chosen from members of my
soccer team. My soccer team, ages seventeen to eighteen, volunteered to participate
in the testing. All participants were active, which meant that they were all on
the same athletic level, helping the calculations to be more accurate. The
group was chosen randomly and I only had fifteen people participating.
For my experiment, I put together an
ordinal data. My data was ordinal because it can be tiered. I made the charts (see
appendix) that showed the times of each person tested when they ran the mile alone
and when they ran with a group. This chart made it possible for me to compare
each person and their fastest time.
In whole, out of the fifteen
participants that took part in this experiment, twelve participants showed a
better performance when running against others. Better performance means finishing the
distance in a faster time than the time when ran alone. My hypothesis was
correct in my study. I came to the
conclusion that social facilitation was accurate in my experiment.
In Triplett’s study, his results proved
that the bikers he tested performed better in a group than when they were
alone. My results were fairly similar to Triplett’s. I discovered that when time
of participants running alone, they were slower than when they were put into a
group. I predicted this outcome in my hypothesis and my experiment revealed
that my predictions are correct in this case study.
My experiment had some strengths
and weaknesses. I was very ethical throughout my experiment by showing the
participants respect and keeping them informed and aware of the process. This made
them be more compliant and easy to work with. In addition, another strength was
the method that I chose to use to gather the required data. On the other hand,
my main weakness was that I was restricted on the amount of participants that I
could test. Due to the fact that this experiment could not be conducted in a
classroom, I had to find a different group of people that were willing to
participate which was my soccer team. If I had the chance to experiment on a
more assorted class, my results could have been more accurate.
My results cannot be generalized
outside of the opportunity sample because it is a non-representative sample,
but I do trust that I have come to the right conclusion. Only thing ill chance
if I had the opportunity to redo this experiment is I would test the same
groups more than once, on different days so that certain influences such as
tiredness of the participants would not contribute to the results.
In conclusion, according to the
results of my replication of Triplett’s experiment based on social
facilitation, people perform better in groups compared to being alone.
McClelland, G. (2009). Social
Facilitation. Retrieved from
Mohamed, N. (n.d). Norman
Triplett’s Experiment. Retrieved from
Triplett’s Experiment on Social
Facilitation. (2014). Retrieved from
Triplett, N. (1898). The
Dynamogenic Factors in Pacemaking and Competition. The American
of Psychology, 9(4), 507-533.