Project cost ($):
Additional time may be needed to locate sites for the experiment.
Adult supervision is recommended as this science project involves interviewing strangers.
Ever go someplace like the grocery store or the mall and noticed how people park? Some people feel a need to back into a parking space; some take up two parking spaces, and then there are those who park in handicapped spaces even though they do not qualify. In this experiment, you will conduct a survey on these parking behaviors and attempt to understand the thought processes of the drivers.
Investigate the frequency of different parking styles and understand the mindset of the drivers.
While the aim of this science project is to identify the frequency of different parking behaviors and the thought process of the drivers, the experiment needs to be carried out in an unbiased, non-judgmental manner. People will not open up to sharing information about themselves if they feel that they are being judged. Also, it is important that when you speak to the drivers, you clearly state that this is an experiment that is being conducted anonymously and that no identifiable information of the driver will be used. As it may be difficult to locate drivers of the studied vehicles, you can directly approach people who you know engage in these parking behaviors, to interview them.
1. Approximate the number of cars in the parking lot. For larger parking lots, estimate the number cars by counting the number of cars in a section of the parking lot (Example: Pick an area that is an approximately a quarter of the total area of the parking lot and multiply the number of cars by four).
2. It is recommended that you use a spreadsheet to organize and manage your data. For recording your data out "in the field", a simple tally sheet can be used:
3. Survey the parking lot for the following parking styles:
4. Record the following data:
5. Divide the total number of cars in a given category by the total number of cars in the parking lot. This will give you the percentage of cars for the specific category. For example:
6. Repeat this procedure for each category and record your results.
7. Be sure to phrase the question "What was your reason?" instead of "Why did you park?." Saying "Why" may imply to the driver that he or she is being judged.
8. The second question would be "Is this how you normally park?
9. Write down the drivers' responses and thank them for their time.
10. If you are not able to interview a driver for a certain parking style category, you can interview someone you know who engages in this kind of behavior.
11. Review the results from the interview and check for any common patterns in the responses.
12. Create a profile for each parking category by identifying the patterns from the interviews for each category along with the statistic. Example:
Can you draw a conclusion on the drivers?
Our behavior is a reflection of our beliefs and on the value systems by which we live. Studies show that how we interact with inanimate objects project our mindset. Examples of this are road rage, hoarding, and addictions. These situations are examples of the inner world being projected to the external world. A driver engaging in road rage is using his car to express frustration. The hoarder is attached to material objects for inner security, and addictions provide an escape from experiencing certain feelings. Someone who is addicted to gambling immerses himself in gambling because the feelings associated with this activity prevent him from experiencing other feelings that point to the root of other problems he may be facing. Reflect on your relationship with the external world. Examples are a - chronically messy room, excessive video game playing or texting, or being over conscientious about the cloths you wear. What do these behaviors say about you?
Questions & Answers
How can the way someone parks reveal his or her personality?
Our behavior and how we perceive the world around us, is a reflection of our inner being.
Make it Your Own
Repeat this experiment using two groups: Those who are frequent mediators and those who do not mediate.