Science Fair Project: Do Drivers Obey the Laws When No One is Watching?

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Published: 19th September 2012
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Science Fair Project: Do Drivers Obey the Laws When No One is Watching?

by Mort Barish

Word Count: 634

A really great idea for a science fair project on human behavior is to watch what drivers do when they are confronted with a stop sign. Just find a comfortable spot to stand or sit and watch at a busy street corner.
Take your notebook and pen or pencil and become an observer of the scene. Watch drivers as they bring their cars up to the intersection. Do they stop or just slow down? Do most drivers kind of ease their way to the stop sign and not quite come to a full stop?

Are driving habits of people at the stop signs any different during daylight hours or evening hours? How about adult men and women compared to young men and women? Do you think that young people will more readily disobey the law than older mature people? The research that you do will help you to find the answers to these questions and make up a good science fair project for young students who need an award winning project for school.

There are many different things that you can do to spice up this experiment. For example you can find out whether people who drive sports cars are more likely to zip thru the stop sign than people in SUV’s.
You may also determine whether people act differently around quitting time, perhaps five or six o’clock in the evening when they are anxious to get home.

This project will help you to learn a little about human behavior. Some people obey the laws at all times. Other people only obey if they think they will get caught and have to pay a penalty. What do you think makes people act the way they do? Why is it that some people are law abiding and others will try to get away with it? Are young men with lots of macho and daring more likely to pass the stop sign while older men and women are more likely to obey the law? Why is this so? What makes young people act differently than older people?

If you were able to research this behavior more deeply you could try to find out if better educated people act differently than lesser educated people. You could also try to learn whether people of color, or Latino people act differently than Asian or Caucasians. Other differences might include economic status. Will richer people behave differently than poorer people?

Another good place to observe human behavior is in the supermarket. You can try to find out who is better behaved on the checkout line. And you can observe behavior in the produce section. Just watch how some people pick up every piece of fruit or vegetables and put it back without caring how they touch the food or mess up the display. Other people will treat the products with respect. And just how do people act at the deli counter? Do they wait their turn or do they push and shove to get ahead. Are men different than women. Are boys different than girls? Do people act differently at different times of the day. All of the above is a good exercise in becoming an observer of human behavior. It is a good exercise on developing your powers of observations and recording what you find and then putting everything into a scientific report.

You will find over 400 more excellent ideas for a science fair project at
Everyone of these projects provides a complete blueprint with step by step instructions on how to create an award winning project. You will also get all the information you need on the scientific method and learn what the judges are looking for.


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