Answer the question you selected for profile question 3 here (300 words):
I designed an observational study to determine whether a relationship could be found between paw preference (the paw with which a dog takes the first step when initiating motion) and sociability in Canis familiaris, the domestic dog. The hypothesis arose from a literature review of recent studies, which primarily revealed that negative emotions in domestic dogs correlate with signals from the right hemisphere of the brain and positive emotions correlate with signals from the left hemisphere of the brain. This prompted the study of whether paw preference might be correlated with sociability with the inquiry question posed as: does paw preference in domestic dogs indicate sociability? Fifty (50) domestic dogs were observed for paw preference using a “First-Stepping” method, followed by classification as right-pawed, left-pawed, or ambilateral. Pie chart graphs of the data indicated a definite correlation between paw preference and sociability in this study. However, statistical evidence contradicted the apparent correlation at a sample size of 50. Via statistical power analysis, the potential remained for more finely tailored future studies of increased sample size which would show statistical significance with a sample of 88 dogs, a 76% increase in sample size, providing the breakdown of underlying data remained the same. This experiment turned out with a surprising difference in the visualization of the data in pie charts indicating significant findings, and the evaluation of the data statistically, which indicated results without statistical significance. Aside from a rich experience in canine behavior and observation, this experiment conveyed a significant lesson in the careful choice of sample size.