Lab 4: Is Yawning Contagious?

Background:On the Mythbusters TV show, they investigated whether yawning is contagious (Watch video link). We will analyze the data from the final study, an experiment where visitors to a local flea market (the observational units) were invited to participate in the study and were randomly assigned to be given a "yawn seed" or "no yawn seed" (the explanatory variable). The response variable is whether or not the participant then yawned within a specific time period while isolated. From this study, we want to know whether the long-run probability of yawning after a yawn seed is higher than the long-run probability of yawning without a yawn seed. In other words, was the group that received the yawn seed statistically significantly more likely to yawn than the group that did not receive a yawn seed? In other words, do we have convincing evidence that the probability of yawning is larger with the yawn seed than without.


  • Investigate a research question that involves comparing two groups on a categorical response through simple numerical and graphical summaries.
  • Continue to explore the concept of “statistical significance” and p-values for the scenario of comparing two groups on a categorical variable, with random chance arising from the random assignment process.
  • Use the results of a designed experiment and sample data to draw conclusions about a population or process.

When you are ready, click Start to begin.

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