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I need some help with a social science experiment!

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posted on Feb, 2 2012 @ 08:27 PM
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Okay...here goes...

As part of finishing up a research psychology class this semester...I have to come up with a simple testable experiment...trouble is...I am not terribly social and I am having some difficulty coming up with an idea for a simple testable experiment!

On Monday I need to turn in a one page typed description of my intended research project...and as of yet...I still have no idea what to do....so I thought I would ask my fellow ATS'ers if they had any ideas!

My one page paper has to include...

* A description of what I would like to do.
* What my independent and dependent variables are.
* What my hypothesis is.
* Where I plan to conduct my study.
* The materials and supplies that I will use in my study.
* If I will require the participant to sign a consent. Why or Why not?
* What potential confounds will I need to control for.
* And why is my study important? How can my results be applied outside of the class?

A one page typed description is nothing much at all...but without an idea of what I am going to do...I am at a total loss on this one.

Any ideas and help would be awesome.

Thanks in advance for the help!




posted on Feb, 2 2012 @ 08:35 PM
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reply to post by jerryznv
 


What kind of psychology class is it? General psychology, social psychology, biological psychology.....the type of psychology class would help us narrow it down to help you out.



posted on Feb, 2 2012 @ 08:38 PM
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Hypothesis: Women are more depressed than men. (control for age if you'd like)
Fixed : Sex
independent: PHQ-9 score



posted on Feb, 2 2012 @ 08:40 PM
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i would suggest a social science experiment on ways which people perceive their worlds and levels which they are 'awake' and aware of what goes on in and outside of their personal lives. something to do with how people spend their days asleep not conscious of whats going on in the world around them and what causes them to wake up to the world to question things they experience and are told (which doesnt happen in non-lucid dreams)



posted on Feb, 2 2012 @ 08:40 PM
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Originally posted by FissionSurplus
reply to post by jerryznv
 


What kind of psychology class is it? General psychology, social psychology, biological psychology.....the type of psychology class would help us narrow it down to help you out.


It is actually research psychology 2070 so general psychology...and all fields would apply for an experiment...I am kind of stretching toward social experiments as they seem to be the easiest to manipulate and record...so something in social psychology would be best I think!

The class is basically an overview of methodology...and what is ethical, and what has validity and verifiability!

Any old idea would be great though...social or not...just something testable and can be replicated again!



posted on Feb, 2 2012 @ 08:41 PM
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Well I will make a suggestion based on something I did when I studied a bit myself.
Namely gender roles within Child Psychology. Basically you observe girls and boys of pre-school age and analyse / remark upon the differences between boys and girls. Its actually quite fun, if you have social issues then watching the behaviour of kids won't be too difficult. Of course you have to get permission from a school or playgroup to do this type of thing, but this wasn't a problem for me in the UK.

There have been many studies of this kind so it won't be so difficult to fill any gaps if you don't manage to carry out fieldwork to a satisfactory extent.



posted on Feb, 2 2012 @ 08:44 PM
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Originally posted by freethinker123
Well I will make a suggestion based on something I did when I studied a bit myself.
Namely gender roles within Child Psychology. Basically you observe girls and boys of pre-school age and analyse / remark upon the differences between boys and girls. Its actually quite fun, if you have social issues then watching the behaviour of kids won't be too difficult. Of course you have to get permission from a school or playgroup to do this type of thing, but this wasn't a problem for me in the UK.

There have been many studies of this kind so it won't be so difficult to fill any gaps if you don't manage to carry out fieldwork to a satisfactory extent.



What do you manipulate to change the experiment...I mean if boys are more active with toy trucks than girls...can you see how they (the boys) interact without the toy trucks to play with?

Awesome idea...developmental psychology...but how do you manipulate the dependent variable in something like that?
edit on 2-2-2012 by jerryznv because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 2 2012 @ 08:50 PM
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reply to post by jerryznv
 


I had to do this.

Easy, I did mine on walking and driving to class.



Which one, would make me more late to class, if I used one or the other? And in both cases. I was still late. But the driving, made me more later looking for a parking spot.


Then at the end, I put. "Looks like I need a hover board".



Out of 20 points, I made an 18 on it.
edit on 2-2-2012 by Manhater because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 2 2012 @ 08:55 PM
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Originally posted by Manhater
reply to post by jerryznv
 


I had to do this.

Easy, I did mine on walking and driving to class.



Which one, wouldmake late to classes, if I used? And in both cases. I was still late. But the driving, made me more later looking for a parking spot.


Then at he end, I put. Looks like I need a hover board.


edit on 2-2-2012 by Manhater because: (no reason given)


That is too funny...you experimented with/on yourself!

I can't do that...to biased...if I know what the experiment is I can manipulate it too much...for example:

If I were to experiment with my wifes conversations on the phone...let's say with family versus friends...and she knew my hypothesis was that she spent less time talking to family...well she would intentionally spend more time on the phone with family because she knows she is being observed!

I don't think my professor would go for an experiment on myself...about myself!



posted on Feb, 2 2012 @ 08:59 PM
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You never know, they might. Our professor said we could do it on anything we wanted, as long as it was a testable theory. Did your professor say you couldn't do the experiment on yourself?
edit on 2-2-2012 by Manhater because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 2 2012 @ 09:00 PM
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reply to post by jerryznv
 


Mother of seven here
Dolls, trucks, purses, wallets.
dress up clothes.?
my almost 7 yrs old will play with it all, so will my almost 3.
Ones boy ones girl.
good idea, you can look into playgroups also,
maybe mostly boys group vs mostly girls?
Or all girls vs all boys vs equal mix?

Trying to help, not on a college level though, just a mom.



posted on Feb, 2 2012 @ 09:02 PM
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Ok here is my idea. on a social experiment. On reactions to a fixed test with 2 groups of 10 subjects each. One with your control subject/assistant, the other without. In random social testing/

You would require a small clear plexiglass box containing 5 large cockroaches, you can get them at pet shops for feeding lizards. $5.00 cash per person who completes the required test.

Questionnaire for subjects to answer based on their reactions, physical and emotional. Questions predetermined by you
with maybe 4 selections to each question for test subjects to choose from.

Test:
Place large roaches in plexi box, so they can be seen but test subject feels secure in them not getting out.

Ask each test subject to reach into box and pick up a roach and hold it for 10 seconds. Place back in box and answer questions on sheet.

For group A have your assistant act as if he is a random person who has done the test, encourage each person in the group as they do it individually.

In group B your assistant acts as only an assistant holding a clipboard with the questionnaires. saying nothing to the test subjects.

Compare answers from Group A and B to see if there is a notable difference between test subjects who are exposed to the assistant as a participant, against the group who did not.

What is the effect of random encouragement, from a complete stranger in an uncomfortable situation.

Silly, but there ya have it....

Des



posted on Feb, 2 2012 @ 09:06 PM
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Glad you like the idea, I have to admit its not very original, but its a good one.
Well in my experiment, the idea was to watch both what toys the boys and girls typically selected (upon a number of different occasions) and how they behaved with these toys. You can also observe the interaction between the boys and girls.

At that age they mostly go according to what we would think the stereotype would be, but of course that doesn't necessarily mean it is natural gender difference - even at that age it could be learned behaviour or children 'acting' according to parental / social encouragement. But anyway conclusions of that sort were beyond the remit of my experiement!

There is some scope for what you can do with this and as I say many of these types of experiements have been conducted so you should be able to find help or more suggestions on the web if you decide to do this.

Good luck anyway, I have to hit the sack now...



posted on Feb, 2 2012 @ 09:07 PM
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reply to post by showintail
 





Trying to help, not on a college level though, just a mom.


Any and all help is appreciated...certainly from parents of young children...the subject is vast and interesting!

Will a boy play with a purse when his truck are taken away?

Will a girl play with trucks when her dolls and purses are taken away?

Sounds like a solid idea...maybe a good start at the local YMCA with the day care (if I could get them and the parents to consent)...that might be tough.

Can you hear it..."Welcome to the YMCA Mrs. Smith...checking Johnny into day care today? Oh by the way we have a psychology student that is preforming an experiment on children today...could you sign this consent form?"

How many parents are likely to go for that I wonder?

It gets tricky when it comes to children...and ethical experiment are tough to preform!

Awesome idea though!



posted on Feb, 2 2012 @ 09:13 PM
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Originally posted by Destinyone
Ok here is my idea. on a social experiment. On reactions to a fixed test with 2 groups of 10 subjects each. One with your control subject/assistant, the other without. In random social testing/

You would require a small clear plexiglass box containing 5 large cockroaches, you can get them at pet shops for feeding lizards. $5.00 cash per person who completes the required test.

Questionnaire for subjects to answer based on their reactions, physical and emotional. Questions predetermined by you
with maybe 4 selections to each question for test subjects to choose from.

Test:
Place large roaches in plexi box, so they can be seen but test subject feels secure in them not getting out.

Ask each test subject to reach into box and pick up a roach and hold it for 10 seconds. Place back in box and answer questions on sheet.

For group A have your assistant act as if he is a random person who has done the test, encourage each person in the group as they do it individually.

In group B your assistant acts as only an assistant holding a clipboard with the questionnaires. saying nothing to the test subjects.

Compare answers from Group A and B to see if there is a notable difference between test subjects who are exposed to the assistant as a participant, against the group who did not.

What is the effect of random encouragement, from a complete stranger in an uncomfortable situation.

Silly, but there ya have it....

Des



Absolutely awesome...brilliant comes to mind!

What a great idea...

I think that one is actually something I could do pretty easily!

Supplies are easily noted....dependent and independent clearly defined...and a hypothesis that is simple enough to replicate and test anywhere!

Very helpful!

Thanks Destinyone!



posted on Feb, 2 2012 @ 09:14 PM
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Study sociological solidarity for a specified region (suburb, city etc.) Rely on interviews and surveys to compile the requisite data for your findings.e.g. local business owners, old vs. young, institutes or individuals of historic significance. The interviews and surveys can be done in person, in writing or video.

Durkheim worked wonders on organic and mechanical solidarity: en.wikipedia.org...

Durkheim goes hand in hand with Tonnies:
en.wikipedia.org...

Access the census statistics for the selected region to extrapolate correlations across a broad and varying demographic. In your trend analysis be mindful of affluence vs. cultural degradation.

Should this not grab you I recommend conducting a study (again, interview/survey based) to examine how the average person reacts to the harsh, ugly and taboo truths put forth by Freud and Nietzsche (Oedipus Complex, Slave ethics etc.). The objective would be discern how and why each target reacts to each truth. Your conclusion could entail an overview of we limit ourselves psychologically and therefore sociologically as a direct result of not being able to confront the uglier truths pertinent to our make-up. I'd finish with an analytic projection of where you feel this will lead us in fifty to a hundred years and what counter-measures you believe would serve as remedy.

Hope this helps!

Don't forget consumers:


edit on 2/2/2012 by rexusdiablos because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 2 2012 @ 09:19 PM
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reply to post by rexusdiablos
 


You sound like your well versed in psychological/sociological science yourself!

Very good idea...but a bit more in depth than what I would like to do for this class...maybe something like that for my thesis...but that is a bit down the road at the moment.

Very helpful for sparking thoughts though...thank you!



posted on Feb, 2 2012 @ 09:34 PM
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Too bad I couldn't review some of the data from ATS...thread on subjects...what is most popular...what is least popular...but there is really no way to manipulate the experiment...it would be like a naturalistic observation of social science.

Would be kind of a neat way to introduce the college to ATS though...at least this class!

That truly would be a social experiment if I could manipulate something...social site...lot's of people...would be interesting!

Hmmm...well such goes that thought!



posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 10:04 AM
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reply to post by jerryznv
 


Observe and then (talk to the same subjects if possible) those being the poor you could find out what their life had been like in the past and what happened to bring them to this point, or if they had always been this way there are definately enough poor people to go around to do a study. If its possible and you feel it would be safe you could combine this with sociological effects of the chronic homeless as well, but only if you think you could be safe in doing so (some are a little off their rocker, to put it nicely) Good luck on your project.



posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 10:06 AM
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reply to post by Destinyone
 


No way would I touch a roach for anyone, sorry that's just nasty!



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