Interpreting data and the scientific method (500 words/24 marks)
Below, a fictitious scenario is described in which a student researcher has gained the consent of Venus and her mother to take part in an investigation. The researcher is hoping that heart rate will be a useful marker of Venus’s levels of arousal and anxiety. In this hypothetical situation, Venus’s heart rate is monitored during two competitions under three conditions (resting, pre-beam and pre-bars) to see how it responds.
The researcher is interested in how Venus’s heart rate responds to different levels of competition and therefore decides to monitor her heart rate during a low-level competition (e.g. a club competition) and during a high-level competition (e.g. national championships).
Venus’s resting heart rate is measured with a heart rate monitor on the morning of each competition, before she gets out of bed. Her heart rate is also recorded using a heart rate monitor immediately before her performance on the beam (pre-beam) and immediately before her performance on the asymmetrical bars (pre-bars). Her warm-ups for both competitions and both events are similar.
The researcher wants to compare Venus’s heart rates on the beam and on the bars, as in the DVD clip she experiences more difficulties performing on the beam than she does on the bars.
The results gathered by the researcher are presented below.
Table 1: Venus’s heart rate (beats per minute, bpm)
Resting heart rate Pre-beam heart rate Pre-bars heart rate
Low-level competition 60 115 80
High-level competition 70 133 98
a. Interpret Venus’s heart rate data based on your knowledge of arousal and anxiety from Study Topic 2. For this part of the question, you need not take into account any concerns over the validity of the data. (250 words/12 marks)
b.Using your knowledge of the scientific method discussed in Study Topic 1, and your knowledge of anxiety and arousal gained from Study Topic 2, identify two limitations of this heart rate research and make recommendations for how each of these limitations could be addressed in order to improve the research. (250 words/12 marks)
Analysis of your own experience (1000 words/70 marks)
Identify a situation when you experienced some degree of stress, arousal or anxiety in a sporting or other activity setting. Write an analysis of your experience using perspectives from Study Topic 2.
The account should be divided into two sections:
Section A: A description of the experience using ideas from Unit 3 (300 words/10 marks)
A description of the experience itself explaining what happened and any symptoms and sources of stress, anxiety and/or arousal (cognitive, somatic and behavioural), using ideas from Unit 3.
Section B: An analysis of the experience using ideas from Units 4 and 5 (700 words/60 marks)
An analysis of how your individual experience links to the ideas covered in Units 4 and 5, including the thoughts and feelings that you had during the experience and how you coped with the aspects of stress, anxiety and/or arousal that you identified in Section A.
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