In this semester-long course, students employed the scientific method to investigate sociological and psychological phenomena. They started with a general topic of interest, formulated a research question, constructed a hypothesis, designed a research process, and gathered and analyzed data. This ultimately culminated in a 15+ page research paper utilizing APA format.
Please see below for examples of these student’s excellent works!
Allison Garnhart’s “To Follow The Flow Or Take Your Own Road – How Individuals Conform with their Peers versus Non-Peers
Brief Description: Alyson conducted a “true experiment” modeled after Solomon Asche’s Conformity Experiments. She updates, modernizes, and provides a fresh take on the classical experiment.
Topic: Social Conformity
Hypothesis: “If someone is surrounded by familiar people from their peer groups then they will be less susceptible to conform (Garnhart).”
Abstract: This paper challenges the ideas of conformity in today’s society. Conformity is usually seen to have a negative connotation, but what most people do not think about are the positives that go along with it. Conformity allows for agreement and is used in our everyday lives whether one realizes it or not. The hypothesis proven in this paper states: If someone is surrounded by familiar people from their peer groups then they will be less susceptible to conform. How someone conforms and the reasons they conform, will be discussed as well as evaluated. The findings of the experiment used show a higher rate for social individuality compared to social conformity. The data also concludes that individuals feel more confident when not only surrounded by their peers, but also strangers. The thought that most people go with the flow, is proven to be false and instead people decide to express their individuality.
Sebastian Nava’s Perception of Police Officers
Brief Description: Sebastian conducted a “true experiment” of his own design in hopes of making sense of the political and social climate that has emerged around public perception of law enforcement.
Topic: Social Network (Durkheim & Tönnies) and Public Perception of Police Officers
Hypothesis: Social Network and Social Ties have a larger Impact on Public Perception of Police Officers than the Media
Abstract: This study focuses on social network, and social media and understanding what has a stronger grasp on people when expressing opinions or interacting with law enforcement. I have found the data below supports my hypothesis that social network matters more when interacting with police and having opinions on them.
The data shows sixty percent of participants in Group A do not let social media affect their views or interactions with police. In Group B sixty percent of the participants allow social media to affect their opinions and interactions with police. This study also discusses how citizens discriminate and are prejudice against police and ways to remove those negative stigmas. The number one way to stopping negative stigmas
is by being educated. Being educated on the issue at hand can help create a more understanding environment. Also by using the contact hypothesis and the extended-contact hypothesis we can reduce prejudice and discrimination between police and the public, and also eliminate negative stigmas in younger generations.
Ellen Kleindl’s Gender Biases on Trial – Exposing the Tight-Lipped Tendencies of Human-Kind
Topic: Teacher / Student Relationships & Bias
Hypothesis: If a teacher is interacting with a classroom of students, then they will treat students of their same-sex better than students of the opposite.
Abstract: If a teacher is interacting with a classroom of students, then they will treat students of the same sex better than students of the opposite. Throughout this essay, the hypothesis above was proven by collecting data on student-teacher relationships and how teachers view their students. Female teachers scored female students higher than their male counterparts. In addition, male teachers scored male students higher than their female counterparts. On a general scale, female students were averagely scored higher between all teachers that participated. This topic can later be used to be branched out to other facilities such as the workplace or recreation center. The data found can provide future researchers with a foundation when discovering how gender impacts everyday life.
Emma Shippert’s The Black Plague – Absentee Fathers of the African-American Community
Brief Description: Emma employed a series of qualitative and quantitative methods to explore the social problem of “absentee fathers in the African-American community.”
Topic: Absentee Fathers in the Black Community
Hypothesis: The research compiled in this paper explains the different ways in which the high percentage of father absence affects the black community financially, emotionally, and behaviorally.
Abstract: There is a stereotype in today’s society that many African American children do not have fathers, and unfortunately this stereotype has some truth to it. The percentage of absent black fathers is far larger than the percentage of absent white fathers and this is in part linked to the age at which African Americans are having children, the family dynamics in which black males are growing up in, and the poverty level at which a majority of African Americans fall. The research compiled in this paper explains the different ways in which the high percentage of father absence affects the black community financially, emotionally, and behaviorally. These findings can be used when analyzing the relationship amongst African American families and the behavioral pattern that can be seen in fatherless African American children.