Question

The table below was created for the number and type of experiments Mendel performed. Each number in the second column represents the number of experiments we would expect Mendel to have had with the deviation in the first column. For example, we would expect Mendel to have had 13 experiments in which the deviation was between 0 and 0.5, and two experiments with deviations between -2.0 and -2.5. Each number in the third column represents the actual number of experiments with the deviation in the first column. For example, Mendel recorded 16 experiments in which the deviation was between 0 and 0.5.

An Analysis of Mendel’s DataDeviationExpected Number of Experiments with This DeviationActual Number of Experiments with This Deviation-2 to -2.520-1.5 to -230-1 to -1.564-0.5 to -11012-0 to -0.513140 to 0.513160.5 to 110201 to 1.5621.5 to 2312 to 2.520\begin{matrix} \text{An Analysis of Mendel's Data}\\ \text{Deviation} & \text{Expected Number of Experiments with This Deviation} & \text{Actual Number of Experiments with This Deviation}\\ \text{-2 to -2.5} & \text{2} & \text{0}\\ \text{-1.5 to -2} & \text{3} & \text{0}\\ \text{-1 to -1.5} & \text{6} & \text{4}\\ \text{-0.5 to -1} & \text{10} & \text{12}\\ \text{-0 to -0.5} & \text{13} & \text{14}\\ \text{0 to 0.5} & \text{13} & \text{16}\\ \text{0.5 to 1} & \text{10} & \text{20}\\ \text{1 to 1.5} & \text{6} & \text{2}\\ \text{1.5 to 2} & \text{3} & \text{1}\\ \text{2 to 2.5} & \text{2} & \text{0}\\ \end{matrix}

Mendel worked with an assistant, a gardener, and two other monks, all of whom helped count and record the results, and none of whom were scientists. These nonscientists spent years counting tens of thousands of peas. It wouldn't take them long to figure out what the usual results were. How might one or more of Mendel's helpers have caused the low number of high-deviation results?

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Mendel's assistants could have made estimations on the final count or made some count comparisons so that the count would be close from one helper to another. This leads to a low number of high-deviation results.

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