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How does cold water affect hand sensitivity?

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Alyssa Furtado

on 26 March 2014

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Transcript of How does cold water affect hand sensitivity?

How does cold water affect hand sensitivity?
How does cold water affect hand sensitivity?
IV: cold water
DV: which hand is more sensitive
Control: slightly/ room temperature cold water

Background Info.
After researching and looking on many different websites we have discovered that there have been different results when doing this project. For instance, in one experiment the non-dominant hand was the most sensitive, the explanation behind this was that the non-dominant is weaker because it isn’t used as often as the dominant hand is. When your hands are cold it is your body’s response to regulate your body temperature. Lefties tend to have more sensitive hands than right handed people. Hands and feet tend to get colder faster than the torso because they lose body temperature faster.


If the subject’s hand is in ice water than their non-dominant hand will come out first because it has less dense muscles than your dominant hand because it isn’t used as much.
-cold water
How Does Cold Water Affect Hand Sensitivity?
Rachel Houlihan and Alyssa Furtado
-Fill sink up with cold water
-Have subject place hands in cold water and start the stopwatch
-Record which hand comes out first and write the time that each hand came out
-Repeat this with the rest of the subjects refilling the sink each time to the same temperature
-Fill up the sink after each person
-Repeat steps 2-4
-Conduct more trials

Data Table Trial 1
Data Table Trial 2
Data Table Trial 3

Trial 1:

Trial 2;

Trial 3:

Conclusion Part 1

Was your hypothesis supported or rejected?
Our hypothesis was rejected because we thought that when both hands were placed in cold water the non-dominant hand would come out first because of the difference in the muscles, the dominant hand uses more muscle than a person’s non-dominant hand. Alyssa was the only one who took her non-dominant hand out first, the other four people pulled out their dominant hand first.
Using the data from your IVs, cite and compare data to the control:
The control, slightly cold or room temperature water , was much more tolerable than the really cold water was. The cold water had the tendency to have the test subjects pull out in a quicker time because the cold was so extreme the hand had less time to try to warm itself up. the longest we had a hand in the water was 31.6 seconds this was the longest the hand could safely stay in the hand with the materials we had. (due to this being a project instead of an actual study we have to follow the safest possible route) The hand could safely and comfortably stay in the control water do to it being a comfortable temperature, that for this project is not harmful at all. The lowest we had was 15.51 second. This shows how fast the hand reacts to the cold temperature while the control had no effect.

Conclusion Part 2
In the first graph, there was a big difference within the points. The points ranged from 15.29 seconds to 30.93 seconds. In the second graph, the points were closer together. Everyone but one person pulled out their dominant hand first, we aren’t positive why this happened.

What conclusion can be drawn from this experiment?
From this experiment we learned that the hand reacts to coldness by shivering trying to heat that part of the body. We also learned that if you are exposed to extreme coldness that your body can suffer from nerve damage, frostbite and also hypothermia . These conditions can be very dangerous and even deadly. we also learned that exposure can cause damage as well. Through this we learned that doing this often can damage or kill nerves in your hand. The most importantly we learned that eighty percent of the time your dominant hand is more sensitive to the extreme cold.

Conclusion part 3
We could add more people to test the experiment on so we could really which hand is more sensitive to cold water, we can also improve how we find the temperature of the water. We had a thermometer but it wouldn’t work because it only goes down to a certain temperature. When we put it in the water it would say that it was “low”. We also could have specified what exactly the people had to do, we explained to them that they had to pull out whichever hand was too cold to stay in anymore, but we didn’t explain that they could leave the other hand in if they were able to and what they were supposed to be feeling in order to take their hands out of the water.

Describe three steps that you should add to the procedure to improve the experimental design.

Conclusion part 4
List three errors in the design of the lab:

First of all, we stated in the procedure that we were going to do a trial with and a trial without ice. We decided against it because the water was already extremely cold and adding the ice would over stimulate everything. The water would be too cold to place your hands in that it would be dangerous. Secondly, for the most part the water was the same temperature, but we did not know this for a fact. All of the thermometers we tried wouldn’t go low enough to tell us the exact temperature of the water. We used our hands to test how cold it was. Lastly we should have used the control more when comparing results. We did not do many trials with the control because we hypothesized that a person could leave their hand in room temperature water a lot longer than it could in extremely cold water.

We could have improved on the accuracy of the temperature and we did not consider that the temperature of the persons’ hand may have varied within the trials. Lastly as we stated before, we could have improved on how many people we had in our trials, besides ourselves there were only three other people. We definitely could have improved some things in our experiment but overall we were pretty successful.

Conclusion Part 5

Identify Two improvements
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