1. In one to two paragraphs describe your experience as a participant. What was expected of you? What took place during your time there?
It was fun to participate in such lab research for the first time in my life. I had many theoretical expectations regarding the design structure and the types of questions based on the brief explanation I have read before the research. However, I haven’t thought that it would be as intense as it was due to many factors. The study actually took more than one hour because the first part had so many long questions. I was told that the first section shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes, which seems to be unrealistic to non-native speakers. Since the study’s unit of analysis considers individuals from HUB university without necessarily being American citizen it is then possible that some people might actually spend more time trying to read and answer questions. Additionally, the study contains four different sections, as I recall, which I thought was too much that I ended up bored and just wanted to finish. There were some really awesome questions that sparked my mind in terms of thinking where I really stand in ideology, attitude and contemplation, which is the main purpose of the whole study, according to my understanding. And there were some other questions that I couldn’t figure out the purpose of asking!
In general, I was expected to answer and complete all sections if I agreed to take part of the study. Undeniably, the research conductor would expect majority of people to answer honestly and express freely, otherwise he would not spend the effort to conduct such research. In fact, many interesting things took place, such as, variance of questionnaire measurements using different types of scales, like, Guttman and Likert scales. Visual images that increases the amount of engagement since their content reflected inner feelings and psychological arousal, which were measured by a type of machine connected to our fingers. Audio recording also took part at the end of the research where I almost felt sleep because of the tone of the speaker! Overall, I thought it wasn’t a bad idea to participate in such research even though I didn’t fully understand the purpose it aims to achieve after the findings.
2. What was the central research question (or motivation) behind the study?
Intellectually speaking, people in general are classified into a bunch of categories that fall within different types of ideologies. The question of whether people actually construct their political and intellectual opinions by themselves or follow the flow of their surrounding hemisphere is worth scrutinizing. The process of thinking is inextricably intertwined with the background knowledge that is also incorporated into those different types of ideology. There are certainly multiple factors that influence peoples’ contemplation and opinion formation in the political arena. Examining those factors in order to achieve a better understanding of how people constitute their political opinions is the motivation behind all different parts of the research.
3. Identify (and discuss/provide evidence for) what this experimental study was using as evidence within this study.
The evidence provided are the questions, images, and the recording which we were expected to complete. Basically, responses to questions in that controlled area was the main evidence in the research. The research conductor is going to rely on our answers to his well-developed, direct questions. We were give specific structured questions designed in order to get answers for the big picture, which is the research question.
4. Describe the research design employed in this study.
The research design employed in the study is to randomly select adult people living in the united states to participate in a one-hour survey that has specific questions and images constructed in a manner to discover how people construct their political opinions and how they might get affected by certain things that might influence their thinking process and decision making. The survey is conducted in a controlled lab that examines even our physiological reactions to validate answers. In order to minimize any bias during the survey research they have actually connected our body to a skin conductance machine. Each part of the research had different design approach in order to contribute in many ways to the research outcome. From survey questionnaires to visual images to story reading to audio recording the study had a well-developed design to ensure the most accurate responses.
5. Do you believe the research will be qualitative, quantitative, or normative? Be
Surveys and questionnaires are crucial techniques in any quantitative research. The research design has employed those techniques to reach the outcome. Nonetheless, only some parts fall into the survey category, other parts had different approaches. The research might combine both quantitative and qualitative strategies even though it was conducted in a controlled lab. The ideology part where concepts appear on screen and that we have to answer swiftly on whether it is a liberal or conservative word, the images that we have to reflect on, and the audio recording we have listened to with the skin conductance machine, all these observations are subject to personal interpretation. And that is why the research might require qualitative analysis in addition to the quantitative style of the questionnaires.
6. Lastly, with the information you have available, critique the internal, external, and construct validity for this study.
· Internal validity: the study has high internal validity due to randomization process which minimizes possible bias. The natures of the questions are sufficient to conclude that the study actually make sense in measuring how people form their political opinions.
· External validity: since the study took place in a controlled lab area in Temple university the result would not be generalizable to those who weren’t subjected to the same standards or those who didn’t go to HUB university. Thus, the study has low external validity.
· Construct validity: collecting data from various part of the study might not match what the study actually claims to achieve. For example, the study might in fact measure what people’s views are on certain issues rather than how they form their opinions on certain issues. Respondents typically have their views in their minds thus trying to measure how they form their views might require a more in-depth study beyond the capacity of a questionnaire survey.
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