Sugar High?

Friday, 13 February 2015
Exhibit Hall (San Jose Convention Center)
Mihir Shroff, Shawnee, KS
This project involves discovering how meditation and sweets affect concentration during a test. The test was implemented using the principles of Design of Experiments. A full factorial experiment was conducted using four different groups for the two variables: (1) A group that tested nothing, (2) A group that tested sweets, (3) A group that tested meditation, (4) A group that tested mediation AND sweets.  Each group was given the corresponding instructions/food items as follows: Group 1 directly took the test without any prior preparation, Group 2 ate a cup cake and then took the test, Group 3 meditated for ten minutes and then took the test, and Group 4 ate sweets then meditated then took the test.  The test composed of twenty problems with varying degrees of difficulty, with subjects ranging from Geography, English, and Math. Each student was given eight minutes to complete the test.  The test results were evaluated based on the number of correct answers from a total of twenty.  Both Main and Interaction effects were analyzed. The group that just meditated before the test produced the highest score. Surprisingly, the group that had sweets and also meditated seemed to have negative interaction, resulting in lower test scores. This research project highlights the importance of concentration when taking a test and possible ways to improve it.