Truly appreciate the things your company does. It truly helps people with certain deadlines and a hectic life they have.
My hypothesis: Being disconnected from social media (texting, Facebook, cell phone use, etc) causes stress in teenagers.
It is my belief partly based on observation (I teach HS students) that we have created a society where even the slightest communication is cause for a teenager’s engagement with his/her electronic device. Being constantly connected to others, or at least knowing that is an option appears to give them some peace of mind and perhaps helps them feel less alone. This worries me because I fear they will be unable to engage in experiences on their own without that constant connection to others. This behavior doesn’t allow for self-reflection, meditation, or other important moments designed to focus the attention inward. In other words, a fear of being alone. On the other hand, teenagers can reach out to others as never before, which is great in many cases.
I would choose the Experimental Research method for the following experiment, being careful to adhere to its two components: 1) that there is a random assignment of participants. I would stress that this should be a double-blind experiment so I do not influence its outcome; and 2) a manipulation of an independent variable.
My experiment: After taking a base level of stress indicators (heart rate, blood pressure, brain waves, perspiration levels, etc) I would randomly assign two separate groups of HS students to spend 2 days camping in the wilderness. I would set up several exciting events to take place such as river rafting, hunting, building a shelter for the night, etc. One group would have their cell phones with them (assuming there is a cell phone connection in this remote area), the second group would not. The first group could contact whomever they chose during the events and during a down time say, at night. The second group would not have cell phones to be able to do this. I would somehow monitor both group’s stress levels while out in the wilderness.
Summary: Because I would want to avoid the Correlation/Causation Fallacy, I would need to not know which students were which in this experiment. And I foresee some challenges that might not be avoidable and might skew this idea. There could be variables such as a student who is naturally highly stressed in the wilderness and his anxiety could spike giving my experiment the expected result but for the wrong reason. Not to mention the difficulty of setting up this experiment in the first place.
Personal note: Thinking about this idea has caused me to think in a more scientific way about the results of all experiments I learn about. The Correlation/Causation issue is one I fall victim to a lot. I like to think that I am an objective observer, but so far in this course, I am not so sure of that anymore. At the same time that I hate to have my thinking challenged in this way, I also feel excited that I am thinking on a deeper level than I ever have.
How would you select the groups at random? Would you use a number system? Perhaps a lottery system? What do you think would make sense and be easiest! Science does not have to be the most difficult approach. WE can use what is easiest as long as it is appropriate and makes sense.
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