Creating and Reading Two-Way Tables - Pendulum and Sobriety Testing

This page is authored by Semra Kilic-Bahi, Colby-Sawyer College, based on an original activity used developed by Semra Kilic-Bahi.
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This material was developed as part of the Carleton Teaching Activity Collection and is replicated on a number of sites as part of the SERC Pedagogic Service Project


In this activity, the students create a two-way table through a class activity. At the beginning of class, the instructor distributes "Yes (almost to 1/3 of class)" and "No" cards to class participants. Depending on the card student receives, he/she will be assumed to be using alcohol or not. Then, the students have to go through a "pendulum testing" to decide "scientifically" if they use alcohol or not. After the result of testing, the students organize the data as a two-way table.

Learning Goals

Creating and reading two-way tables
Conditional and marginal distributions

Context for Use

This activity is designed for an introductory statistics course. It can be used in an introductory sociology, psychology, liberal arts math clas, quantitative literacy project. I used pendulums to conduct the "scientific test" but other methods can easily be used to do this test. This activity can easily be adapted to be used in other settings.

Description and Teaching Materials

Teaching Notes and Tips


The use of Pre and post tests. Please see the attached file titled "Creating and Reading Two-Way tables pretest".

References and Resources