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how many licks does it take to get to the tootsie roll center of a tootsie pop
How many licks does it take to get to the tootsie roll center of a Tootsie Pop?

Background: The age old question to Mr. Owl has been tested around the world by young children to university scientists. A licking machine was modeled after the human tongue and used in a test with a mean of 364 licks.

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Disclaimer: This study was conducted as part of a Statistics class with relatively small sample sizes which causes the validity of such studies to be questioned.

Using the results from Purdue University, with a mean of 364 licks to get to the tootsie roll center of a tootsie pop, and through a convenience sample of 36 test subjects of both men and women we conducted a sample statistic. We distributed random tootsie pops from different store locations and gave specific guidelines as to what is considered a lick and what is considered the center of the tootsie pop to our test subjects. Our prediction was that our data from the sample would be different from the results of Purdue University.

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Our overall data shows a slight correlation between the youngest age group and the oldest age group as taking more licks.

When comparing the males and the females they seem to have similar results for the older age group although the younger males seem to take more licks than the younger females.

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Sample mean: 367.33

Sample Standard Deviation:148.9126

Sample Size= 36 -because of the Central Limit Theorem we use a sample size greater than 30 to ensure that our data is normally distributed.

Degrees of Freedom: 35

With a 99% confidence level we calculated the margin of error for our data to be ±67.6 licks or about 3 licks.

Null Hypothesis: μ=364 licks

Alternate Hypothesis: μ≠364 licks

Level of Significance:.05 –we use a 5% level of significance b/c the higher it is the greater the power of the test

n=36

X bar=367.33 T-value:.1342 –from the students t-chart

s=148.9126 P(.1342)=.8940 -probability of the Null Hypothesis

d.f.=35

Two tailed test

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We conclude that our sample mean of 367.33 is not extreme enough to throw out the Null Hypothesis at a 5% level of significance given that our p-value of .8940 is greater than our level of significance.

In Conclusion:

We have found that a mean of 364 licks is sufficient enough to fit the data we collected. Although we do not claim that this is the exact number, for a greater sample size would be needed. Also, there are many lurking variables or flaws that affect our test including: size of mouth, amount of saliva produced, ability to follow directions, and acidity of tongue among others. No true conclusion can be drawn. The world truly may never no how many licks it takes to get to the tootsie roll center of a tootsie pop.