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Racism, Ageism, Genderism; Is it a Thing?

In this age of equality, it seems that we are pressured to view everyone as equals, blind
to the factors that most strongly distinguish people. As much as we discuss it, argue
about it, and sue about it, it seems like we wouldve gotten equality down to a tee.
However, is that the case? Lets find out the truth.

Will Stevens
AP Statistics
Dr. K 7th
May 29, 2014
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Table of Contents

1. Cover Page
2. Table of Contents
3.-7. Body Content
7.-8. Conclusion
9. Works Cited

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In todays society, it seems like every third or fourth news update pertains in some way
to discrimination. Whether a black man was arrested in a situation that people believe was too
extreme, women dont think they are being paid fairly in the work place, or old people feel like
they are being taken advantage of, there seems to be a constant flow of people feeling
discriminated against. Sometimes these accusations seem merited, while other times they
seem like shallow ploys to get attention. To get an idea of the general veracity of these claims, a
statistics experiment was conducted to test discrimination.
A few years ago, the TV station ABC conducted an experiment to test the types of
discrimination still present in society today. They set up hidden cameras at a park in a suburban
neighborhood directed at a pole on the side of a trail with a bicycle chained to it. They then had
three different actors, a young white man, a young African American man, and a young white
girl all attempt to steal the bike. Using professional grade hammers and chain -saws, they
worked at stealing the bike while countless people passed by on the trail. The white male went
first. After a few hours of hammering and sawing at the lock, he finally got the bike free and
strolled away. He had gotten a handful of passing comments and weird looks, but no
substantial action to deter him. In stark contrast, when the African American kid took a turn at
stealing the bike, the change in action was incredible. Within seconds a man was yelling at him,
asking him what he was doing. Within a minute, there was a crowd of people around him,
predominately white, shouting at him and threatening to call the cops. He worked and got the
chain off and rode away, but not before the cops had been called and all movement along the
trail had been halted and all attention directed towards him. The white girl got all positive
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attention and a few people even volunteered to assist her! ABC suggested that white people,
females, and older people are typically given the benefit of the doubt and are less
conspicuous. Going into this experiment, the expected results were that there would be a
significant discrepancy in the actions towards people in regard to different physical
An experiment to test how differently people are treated based on race, age, and
gender was conducted. The planning process was quite meticulous and complicated to
effectively test something this broad. The first decision to be made was which population to
test. Ideally, the American population would be tested, but it is obvious that that would not be
possible. The population was narrowed down to just our generation, which seems to be very
thickly caught in the turmoil of these discriminations. The most viable option for testing a
sample representative of this parameter was to attain a simple random sample of AHS juniors
and seniors, specifically in AGS, because the sample would be significantly easier to attain, yet
still very representative of this generation of Americans (keep reading).
To attain a random sample of this group of students, a list of students from both grades
of AGS had to be printed out and selected with a random number generator on the calculator,
with a full list of all the combined students. In hindsight, the sample chosen may not have been
necessarily representative of the population (people in this generation), because a good
number of AHS (and thus, AGS) students are quite hipster and the majority could be classified
as liberal. This means that the results are possibly skewed in favor of liberal ideals, but that is
a small caveat for an otherwise solid sample group.
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The test itself took a good bit of planning, and could have potentially been very
strenuous and complicated, but after some simplification the test experiment was at a degree
that was more reasonable to test but would still produce essentially the same results. A dozen
mug shots of people of varying race, age, and gender were selected and arranged specifically
onto four different sheets of paper. Each paper containing three pictures, one of each- White,
Hispanic, and African American and assorted based on age of the person and their gender. Mug
shots were the type of picture selected because varying level of emotion and facial expression
would have likely skewed the results and confounded the conclusions. Beside each picture were
the words yes and no. Although the experiment began with an SRS, due to time constraints
and teacher-willingness to let students out of class (or lack there-of), it became simply a cluster
sample. The Honors Anatomy and Physiology sixth period class and the fifth period AGS
Capstone class were wholly tested. In reality, this likely maintained the level of representation
that would have been provided by the AGS SRS because this included both AGS and non-AGS
students and a mix of juniors and seniors. Students in these two classes were randomly
selected to receive either the pictures of the older people or the younger people. 15 of the 30
students were given two sheets of paper containing the 6 pictures of the older men and women
of different races and asked, If these people walked up to you, and asked you for five dollars
and you had it, would you give it to them? The other remaining 15 people were approached
and asked the same question, except with all the pictures of the young people on their sheets
of paper. After handing out the paper with the mug shots, the test subjects were left alone to
fill out their answers (circle yes or no beside each picture); so as to not feel pressured to answer
a certain way. Only after they had made their honest answers were they asked to sign their
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name at the bottom and the papers were quickly picked up. The number of yes answers
received by each division of people was tallied up and the number of tallies for old people
versus young people was compared.
To statistically test the difference in the number of yes responses received by the two
groups, young and old, a two sample proportions hypothesis test was conducted. The P1 was
the true population proportion of young people who received a yes for receiving a donation.
The P2 was the true population proportion of old people who received a yes for getting a
donation. The null hypothesis was that P1=P2. The alternative hypothesis was that P1<P2. This
was due to the suggestion that ABC made, that older people were in the same category of
white people and females and received more sympathy from the public. The conditions for this
test were almost all met. An SRS was not completely implemented, though randomization was
used. N1, the population of young people, exceeds 10 times 48 (the number of pictures
responded to by people) so that checks out. As does N2, the population of old people, because
it exceeds 10 times 48. The condition of n1 times p-hat1 being greater than or equal to 10 does
not check out because it equals 4. However, all of the other little n times p-hat conditions do
exceed 10 and thus, check out. The two samples were independent. Besides the two conditions
that do not quite checkout, the use of a Normal approximation is merited. The calculations
consisted of substituting numbers in the equation for comparing two proportions. The equation
is z=(p-hat1 minus p-hat2)-(p1 minus p2)/ sq.rt.(p-hat times q-hat times (1/n1+1/n2)). The
proportion of young people that received yes responses was 4/48. The proportion of old
people that received yes responses was 18/48. To get the p-hat value in the denominator, the
equation is (x1+x2)/(n1+n2). After substituting all the values into the equation with the given
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proportions, the equation is able to be solved. It ends up equaling approximately -3.104. The
probability of getting this z-score is .0003374. The alpha-level chosen for this experiment is .05
because it is not a life or death situation. The conclusion for these calculations consists of; Since
the p-value is less than the alpha level of .05, we reject the claim that there is no difference in
the true population proportions of young people and old people that received a yes for a
donation. We have evidence to support a claim that old people typically receive more yes
responses than younger people.
For the Exploring Data conceptual theme, this experiment and calculation demonstrated
a departure from a pattern. In an ideal world, there would be no differences in the proportions
of people that received yes responses, but this experiment demonstrated those variations
from the pattern of unison. The whole planning and implementing of this project satisfies the
Sampling and Experimentation conceptual theme. A good amount of work went into
strategizing the best way to implement the project as well as conducting the experiment and
the subsequent calculations. For the Anticipating Patterns theme, one can look at the
conclusion of the calculations. The conclusion suggests the pattern that older people typically
receive more donations. The calculations performed to make conclusions based on the data
satisfy the Statistical Inference conceptual theme.
This experiment was just a basic way to test a very complex and deeply ingrained part of
the American culture today, discrimination. Though simple, this test effectively demonstrated
that there is, in fact, a discrepancy between how people interact with other people based on
physical characteristics. The ABC test was another way to show this discrimination, primarily for
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a different category (race), but it demonstrated discrimination none-the-less. This was a very
interesting experiment to conduct, and it was cool to be able to mathematically back up the
claim that younger people are discriminated against compared to older people.

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Works Cited
Casal, Rafael. "Know Anyone Who Thinks Racial Profiling Is Exaggerated? Watch This, And Tell Me When
Your Jaw Drops." Upworthy. N.p., 14 Mar. 2008. Web. 28 May 2014.
"622,904 Austin, TX Arrest Records Have Been Located." Mugshots for Austin, TX. Austin Public Records,
22 May 2014. Web. 28 May 2014.