--Original published at Psychology 105
I watched the Mythbusters episode ‘Dream Weaver’ which asked the question, “does weaving through traffic actually get you to your destination faster?” The myth explored during the episode was that by staying in one lane, you can actually make it through traffic faster than you would by constantly changing lanes. Since this was the myth in question, I would say this is the original hypothesis for the experiment. The independent variable was the method of driving used: whether the driver was weaving through traffic or staying in one lane. The dependent variable then was the amount it time it took to travel a certain distance. There were two subjects in the test, and they were driving on the same freeway during the same time of day. I thought it was good that the two subjects were driving under the same conditions during this test because traffic can vary greatly depending on several factors. Do people drive more frantically in the morning while they’re on their way to work? Do they drive more carefully when it’s raining? I think these factors would impact the results as well so it was good to keep these controlled to keep them from hindering the overall goal of the experiment, even if it would have been interesting to see their impact as well. Ultimately, they found that it was not quicker to weave through traffic than it was to stay in one consistent lane. However, I think a weakness of the experiment is that there was only one trial conducted, and it was conducted with such a small sample size. It’s hard to tell how accurate the results are when they only ran one test. Also, people can have different driving abilities which may impact the results as well and this would be a difficult variable to measure and control. Overall, I think the experimenters did a good job controlling what variables they could, but it’s hard to gauge whether this myth holds true in general or was just supported in this specific case.