Experimental Design essay

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Research question:

1.     Does computer interaction negatively affect teenagers socially?

2.     What effect does Facebook have on the academic achievement of the school goers?

Null hypothesis:

1.      Computer interaction negatively affects most teenagers socially.

2.      Facebook does not have any effect on academic achievement of school goers using it.

Alternative hypothesis:

1.     Even though computer interaction negative affects teenagers socially, some traits remain unchanged.

2.     School goers who use Facebook will have low academic performance.   

The answers for the above research question can be elucidated by using appropriate quantitative research methods as well as various designs. In this research a true experimental and quasi-experimental research methods were used to obtain data from the population in consideration while the research designs used are single-subject and pre-experimental. A researcher's aim in quantitative research is to find out the relationship between a dependent and an independent variable within a given population. The research designs in quantitative research are either experimental or descriptive such that the subjects are usually measured before and after they have been treated, or the subjects are measured once respectively (Jackson, 2007). Through meta-analysis, researchers have found that the introduction of internet broadband has encouraged most teenagers to be very close to computers as they have been signed up for Facebook, Email and twitter (Collier, 2010).    

A true experimental research was carried out by Mallen, Day & Green, (2003) on sixty-four undergraduate students. The students did not previously know one another.  They were placed in 32 groups of two members and were assigned to a conversation at random, with a partner in either online chat program or a face-to-face kind of conversation. This was followed by the measurement of self-disclosure, emotional understanding, depth of processing, and closeness. From the findings it was evident that face-to-face conversation brought about more satisfaction with the experience as they realized an increased degree of self-disclosure and closeness with their partner. The level of emotional understanding was the same in both groups, although the group that was involved in face-to-face conversation reported higher levels of positive affect. In this research, the researchers chose to use a sample size of sixty-four students so that to ensure more accurate results because research errors such as bias could be avoided. It usual for small sample sizes to be vulnerable to research errors. True experimental design was used in this research since the subjects were to be placed randomly (Monsen & Horn, 2008). 

Collins & Cattermole (2006) conducted a quasi-experimental research on the effect of computer interaction with teenagers. The research was conducted on fifty-two high school students aged between 15 and 17 years. These high school students were all signed up for Facebook and were found to spend most of their time chatting with friends over the site. Of the students under study the highest percentage were boys. Only few girls were found to have interest in visiting Facebook. This small sample size was chosen so that the research exercise was not so tiresome. They found that the teenagers usually become disgruntled when subjected to social situation since they feel threatened and underprepared. They experience lack of vocabulary and a gradual decrease in speaking fluent language. Because of the anomalies the teenagers isolate themselves from others in the society. Lack of interaction with other people in the school society will make students to perform lowly in their academics. The computer users become addicted to the new society and gradually try to put away reality. Of the interviewed students, some were found to perform extra well irrespective of how often they visit the Facebook site. With the need of following ethical standards being paramount, the research will not gather personal information that might disclose the participant of the study. Needless to say, there is likelihood for the school authorities to hinder the research perhaps with fears that it might expose the effect of computer activities such as Facebook on the student if any. This implies that due care has to be taken into account to avoid such situations. The quasi-experimental design was used because the subjects were not randomly assigned to required tasks (Ryan, 2007).

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