Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Experiment/Research update

I'm really happy because I just got some feedback on an assignment that I turned in for my research study and it was really good. It seems as though I'm right on track for this whole thing to come together. To give you in detailed information of where I am right now:

I proposed my revised idea to my teacher of does learning the statistics of gambling, increase or decrease the likelihood of risk taking in gambling? This idea got approved once I finally pulled together all of my operational definitions, meaning I explained in detail how exactly I was going to go about measuring my independent and dependent levels. So, my independent variables are going to be gender (male and female) and whether or not the participant receives a little course in statistics before performing a specified task. My dependent variable is the Columbia Card Task. If you would like to know more about this task you can look it up in wikipedia or google whatever. But basically you pick a card and as long as you pick a "gain" card you can keep picking unless you decide to stop because you don't want to pick a "lose" card. When you pick a "lose" card you can no longer pick. Once the participant stops choosing I count the number of times the individual turned a card. That average is the measure of the level of risky behavior.

So, the thing I just got back was the justification for my research. This was my attempt at explaining why I am conducting this study, how it will further expand or add to or bring up any new topics within broader area of research that it is in, for example problem gambling, and so forth. My teacher basically said it was all really well developed. She recommended that I clear up one of my paragraphs but other than that, that the justification would look good in the introduction section of the report that I am going to have to write for this study.

Today, I completed a sampling plan. The sampling plan covers the informed consent and the debriefing forms that will be given to the participants as well as any ethical concerns or positive or negative effects on the participant and the types of participants I will be using. Because I have easy and convenient access to them, I am just going to use our schools pool from the psychology 101 pool. So I'm targeting college aged students based on research that has identified mid to old adolescents and young adults as more likely to engage in risky behavior. I have to examine ethical stuff because I am drawing a blank on how a study like this can be unethical, but well see.


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