To determine if the effects of a caffeine stimulant has any impact on typing speed.
Caffeine is a psychoactive stimulant found in various plant species. The most commonly used caffeine-rich plants are coffee, tea, and cocoa. It takes 45 minutes for the stomach and small intestine to completely absorb caffeine, which is why the caffeine "kick" doesn't occur instantly. In an average healthy adult, it typically takes 3 to 4 hours before 1/2 of the caffeine is eliminated (known as the half-life of caffeine).
When taken in excessive doses over an extended period of time, caffeine can lead to the condition known as caffeinism. Caffeinisim is the dependency on caffeine with unpleasant mental and physical conditions, including anxiety, nervousness, insomnia, headaches, and heart palpitations. Long-term levels of high consumption of caffeine can lead to peptic ulcers and gastroesophageal reflux disease.
- Caffeinated beverage. This may include coffee, energy drinks (such as Monster), tea, or soda.
- Non-caffeinated beverage. This may include decaf coffee, water, or non-caffeinated soda (such as root beer).
- Stopwatch or other form of timer.
- Word processor, such as Microsoft Word (optional).
Estimated Experiment Time
4 minutes of typing, over an hour waiting for the beverages to take effect before you can type.
- 1. Drink your decaf beverage, be it water, non-caffeinated soda, or decaf coffee. Wait at least 30 minutes after you’ve consumed your beverage.
- 2. After the time has passed, situate yourself in front of your computer. You're about to do a whole lot of typing! The goal will be to type the ever familiar "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" as many times as you can in a 2 minute interval. If you have a Word processor, such as MS Word, it's recommended you do your typing there as you can check word counts and spelling. If you don't, use a basic notepad application.
- 3. Open your Word processor or notepad application and get ready to type.
- 4. Set your stopwatch or timer. Ready, set, go! Start your timer and quickly type "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" as many times as you can! When the timer hits 2 minutes, STOP (even if you're in mid sentence)!
- 5. Count the number of words you were able to complete and write it down or keep the window open so you can compare it later.
- 6. Drink your caffeinated beverage and wait about 45 minutes for the caffeine effect to kick in and peak.
- 8. Follow the same procedure outlined in steps 2, 3, and 4 above. Start typing the target sentence as fast as you can within the 2 minute interval and STOP as soon as your 2 minutes are up.
- 9. Count the number of times you were able to complete the sentence.
- 10. Compare the results of the first set of sentences (from the non-caffeinated beverage) to the results of the second set, when you were under the effects of caffeine. Do this by taking an overall word count from each set. What was the variance between the two?
A word processor is recommended as it will allow you to check the spelling for both sets as well as check overall word and character counts.
For added depth, repeat steps 2 through 5 about 4 or 5 hours AFTER you've had your caffeinated beverage. Many people report "caffeine crashes" after the effects of caffeine have worn offer, causing sluggishness and delayed reactions. Give it a try and compare the results!
What was the result of your experiment? Were you able to type the sentence faster under the influence of caffeine? Was your accuracy the same on each result set, or was one better than the other? Which result set had fewer spelling mistakes? How do you think the results would differ if you loaded up on a massive amount of caffeine?
Caffeine is a naturally occurring psychoactive stimulant. Studies have shown that the effects of caffeine can increase focus, memory, and reaction time. While under the caffine influence, you should have had an increased level of efficiency in typing speed, as well as a higher level of accuracy in spelling.
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