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Method of investigation.

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Introduction

METHOD Method of investigation The design that was chosen was a questionnaire because the experiment was a replication of Kuhn's Statements Test of Self-Attitudes (TST), which is a questionnaire (20 replies for one question). This type of design is useful because data can be gathered from large numbers of people about the issue of interest (i.e. self- concept). However, the problem with questionnaires is that respondents may answer to give a socially favourable impression. Also good sampling is vital if the results are to be of general use. Another disadvantage is that the 20 answers to the question given ("Who am I?") can yield a large amount of information that can be misinterpreted. An independent group's design was used and its advantages were that order effects, such as learning, fatigue or boredom did not influence a second condition, since the subjects only participated in one condition. An independent group's design is relatively easy and quick to set up. Demand characteristics were less of a problem as the subject only participated in one condition, and so were less likely to guess the aim of the study and act differently. ...read more.

Middle

The independent variable (IV) was age (seven-year-olds and seventeen-year-olds). The dependent variable (DV) was the self-concept, which was measured by Kuhn's five categories that were social groups, ideological beliefs, interests, ambitions and self-evaluation. Participants An A-level student conducted the research. The target population was all the schools available in Blackburn and those that were nearest were used. Only children aged seven years old and seventeen years old were selected. The sampling type was opportunity, which involved selecting those subjects that were available at the time. It was a quick, convenient and economical method of sampling. However, opportunity sampling sometimes gives unrepresentative data and is often biased on the part of the researcher who may choose subjects who will be 'helpful'. There were two conditions: - a young age group (seven-year-olds) and an older age group (seventeen-year-olds). Ten subjects were assigned to each condition. Apparatus Response sheet (see appendix 2) Consent form prior to the experiment (see appendix 1) Standardised Procedure The research was undertaken in a primary school in Blackburn and a sixthform in Blackburn. ...read more.

Conclusion

The seventeen-year-olds had no difficulty in filling out the questionnaire, but one participant missed out a question (only provided 19 answers). The researcher ensured that each interaction with the subjects was as similar as possible, so the researcher's behaviour was a controlled variable. Order effects were at a minimum where learning, boredom, or fatigue did not influence the second condition, since the subjects only participated in one condition (i.e. depending on their age). Using the single - blind method controlled the problem of demand characteristics, as subjects were unaware of the aim of the experiment until afterwards. Using as many subjects as possible controlled the problem of individual differences, which were twenty subjects. The seventeen-year-old subjects were all female, and three out of the ten seven-year-olds were boys with the remaining seven being female. The response sheet was handed out in the subjects' classroom and not all the pupils in the classroom participated as the researcher handpicked the subjects. An effort was made not to be biased in selecting particular types of subjects, which was done by selecting every other pupil starting from the front of the classroom. ...read more.

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