The Effects of Technology on Socialization A Proposal Part II
Because of the nature of my theory, and the objectives of such, I would be best served utilizing a random sampling technique coupled with naturalistic observation to conduct my survey. There would have to be a certain refining of the candidates, as an applicable level of technological understanding would be necessary for them to be a part of this study. As the law of large numbers dictates, a sizeable sampling must be taken in order to accurately represent the larger population as a whole (Daniel L. Schacter, 2009). It would be most prudent to obtain the candidates’ written permission to be part of this study as they enter the building. Once their agreement has been made they will individually be led to a large room with desktop computers made available to them and the other candidates. The subjects will be monitored through the use of closed circuit cameras with zoom and facial recognition capabilities. It will be explained to the candidates that the computers have the capacity to communicate with users via the internet, and locally through LAN lines. What the users will not realize is that rather than communicating with the entirety of the internet, their communications will be solely between users in other monitored rooms within the same building through the exclusive use of LAN lines. This would allow our researchers a certain amount of control over the variables affecting the experiment, as well as the ability to completely observe all expressions of emotion, whether through physical manifestations (as in body language) or through communications via their computers. This method would be best considering the subjective nature of emotions. The researchers would be able to couple the user’s facial expressions with their electronic communications to gain a fuller understanding of the intent and accuracy of their communications. This method would be of much more use for my study than the traditional self-assessment through the parameters of valence-arousal dimensions (Picard, 2009) because it would add the emotional freedom of expression from the users’ erroneous assumption of the anonymity of their online communications.
From an ethical perspective, this study needs to have numerous protections in place. The initial permission and acknowledgment form signed by the subjects needs to express the study’s requirement of complete disclosure of all communications. This informed consent needs to be understood and approved by each candidate in order for them to be considered available for the study. There must be no potential danger of harm to be inflicted upon the subjects and no opportunity of large risks to be asked of them. The results of the study must not be obtained through the unethical influencing of the subjects by methods of coercion or through threatening behavior (Daniel L. Schacter, 2009). Although the subjects may feel that their communications are anonymous, due to their past experiences of utilizing this medium, they need to at least be informed that for the duration of this study their every action (barring those necessitating privacy) will be monitored and analyzed. It is crucial that their actual identities are not recorded, but rather pseudonyms used in order to protect their privacy should the results of the study be broadcast to a larger audience. A necessary item of particular note in this study would be the importance of properly debriefing the candidates once the study is complete. This is crucial because of the slight deception of the subjects in regards to their internet access (The American Psychological Association, 2010).
Research psychologists are able to reach conclusions in a study by obtaining either proof of that which they had initially projected through their original theory or the lack of such. In an example such as the one I suggest, the results are representative of generalities of people rather than specific individuals. As mentioned earlier, through the use of random sampling and the law of large numbers, the research psychologist is able to obtain results which are indicative of the population itself. The researcher has achieved success in an experiment when they are able to show that through the provable internal validity of the test environment (in most cases) their theory has bearing in the manner suggested and provides evidentiary proof for the causal relationships between the established variables. In this manner, the researcher is able to establish a test environment that may be replicated by others in order to ascertain both the validity of their results and to build upon the knowledge that has been gained.
Through the use of proven techniques and the establishment of validated experiments we are able to strengthen and improve upon the lessons and the experiences of the past, opening vast potentials for the future. With each new set of eyes we are able to perceive potentialities previously unknown. It is through the utilization of knowledgeable perspectives and informed perceptions that our constantly evolving academia is able to improve the quality of life available to everyone.
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