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ULO 1: Describe and evaluate the theoretical approaches and research methods used to investigate social psychological phenomena

ULO 2: Apply theoretical knowledge of social psychology to real-life issues, taking account of crosscultural differences.

ULO 3: Search for, evaluate and synthesise relevant social psychological research and effectively use this information in constructing a convincing written argument.

Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities: appropriate to the level of study related to a discipline or profession.

Communication: using oral, written and interpersonal communication to inform, motivate and effect change.

Critical thinking: evaluating information using critical and analytical thinking and judgment.

Problem solving: creating solutions to authentic (real world and ill-defined) problems.

Self-management: working and learning independently, and taking responsibility for personal actions.

Global citizenship: engaging ethically and productively in the professional context and with diverse communities and cultures in a global context.

To give just a few examples, relevant journal articles may refer to topics such as:

  • Different recruitment methods (e.g., social media or internet recruitment methods). Given our context, it is especially helpful to look for articles might have been done within Australia too.
  • Examples of cultural differences in social psychological phenomenon.
  • Examples of the lack of cultural diversity in social psychology research.

Your introduction then needs to focus on the relevant existing knowledge on the topic. You want to discuss the prior literature in relation to the below questions (i.e., use the prior literature to answer the below questions):

  • How culturally diverse have prior studies been/not been?

What implication does this have for social psychology? For example, can we accurately infer that social psychology phenomenon occur universally when studies don’t have culturally diverse participant samples? To illustrate your point, you want to include some research that shows that a social psychological phenomenon differs cross culturally.

  • Why do researchers struggle to get culturally diverse samples and what do people recommend doing to get a culturally diverse sample?
  • Have prior studies looked the cultural diversity obtained from different participant recruitment methods? What did they find?

For example, has prior research found that social media recruitment methods result in a more culturally diverse participant sample in general or more culturally diverse participant samples than other methods (e.g., recruiting a student population)? Why/why not?

  • What are the gaps that prior studies haven’t answered yet and/or what are the limitations of the prior studies? Remember the (your) current study should be addressing these gaps and limitations and this needs to be clear to the reader.

The point of conducting research is to address unanswered questions and fill the gaps in current knowledge. You need to explain what the rationale was for doing the study you are about to go into (i.e., why should the reader even bother reading on? Why is the study important and why should they care about it?).

Background

Diversity in any population defines the overall choice, perception and acceptance of the group of people. This diversity includes their demographic differences, cultural background and social interpretation pattern. At the same time, the socio-cultural intervention of the social behaviour of any community is also influence from the economic background as well as national ancestry.  The population of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples grew by 18% in the past five years to 649,171. The median age of this population is 23 years according to the census of 2016. More than 100 religions and more than 300 different ancestries, the Census highlights our rich cultural diversity. The Census shows that Australia has a 26% proportion of overseas-born people (Abs.gov.au., 2017).

In many sociological, psychological and market research participants are recruited thorough individual media or through different medias simultaneously (Henrich, Heine & Norenzayan 2010). A research method however always tries to investigate the behaviour irrespective of the cultural, social, economic and demographic diversity. It provides more accurate and tangible results that would help to come up with unbiased and comprehensive conclusion. This often creates confutation about the effectiveness of sampling and the existence of socio-cultural biasness within the group of chosen participants (Casler, Bickel & Hackett, 2013). With this regards, there are many sampling processes that a research can use to avoid biased selection of participants by randomising the selection field. At the same time, if any biased behaviour of participants is present in a recruitment method depending on the communication media, the method of selection can be still questionable.  

In many researches it has been shown that the social psychology often restricts the selection process to be diverse. In most of these cases instead of giving a result for distributive field the results become intangible because of the unintentionally biased and converged sampling. Therefore, through examining the external variables and their impacts on the behaviour of recruited participants, better and more effective sampling and recruitment method of participants can be developed. In many social and psychological researches sampling media and the resulted impacts have been examined. However, most of these cases the chosen participants are from Western, Educated, Industrialised, Rich and Democratic population such as North American Undergraduate Students (Fenner et al., 2012). As a result, in this case also there is a noticeable barrier to obtaining a sample independent from social, cultural, demographic, economic and ethnic background. With this regards, the biggest barrier is inability to recruit cultural minorities that includes non-Caucasian, low socio-economic participants that creates several cognitive biases (Dolan et al., 2016).  Therefore, it is important to identify the most helpful and effective method of recruiting participants for any primary data collection.

The primary aim of the current research is to explore the recruitment methods used in any research through social media, student and community method for examining the association of these techniques with the cultural diversity of Australian participants. The secondary aim of this research is to find one or more that one effective method that can help to obtain unbiased and diverse participants causing less dependency on psychological behaviour of the target population.  Therefore the objectives of this research are recruiting different group of percipients through different process and identifying the significant differences in their preference or biased socio-psychological behaviour.  

Rationale

As per the research aim the following two hypotheses have been made to examine  

Hypothesis 1: The participants born in Australia and who were not born in Australia have different preference towards the different recruitment method

Hypothesis 2: The effectiveness of recruitment method differs as per the self-identified ancestry of the participants

Considering the purpose of the study and the scope of data collection and analysis process, it can be said that the purpose of the method to chose appropriate data collection and analysis procedure while abiding by the ethical compliances. This research has a positivist research philosophy and the deductive approach to justify the pre-assumptions or hypotheses. To explore the recruitment method and effectiveness the research design for this research is exploratory. In the following section the data collection and data analysis procedures have been described with ethical measures.

The data collection method of this research is primary data collection where the researcher has to collect data from real-time environment. In this research the data collection tool is structured survey. The participants have been recruited through three process namely recruitment through social media, recruitment via community and recruitment of students. To recruit the participants both soft copy flyers and printed fliers have been distributed through social media and handing out flyers. To distribute the filers within students hand out flyers have been distributed in most populated areas of three Melbourne universities. Apart from that, to recruiting from community the flyers have been handed out in the three large shopping malls and centres in Melbourne.  Participants have been asked about their ancestry and their birth place following by their gender and age.

The sampling method for this research is non-probability random sampling. There was no specific economic, social or demographical preference for choosing the participation. The flyers are handed out to every passerby. The total number of recruited population for this research is 90. Among this population 30 participants have been chosen through social media, 30 participants have been chosen from student population and 30 participants have been chosen from community population.

To compare the preferences or socio-psychological impacts of the behaviour of different group of people chi-squire statistical analysis has been used. For analysing the data distribution, 1 has been given to the variable named ‘born in Australia’ for the people who born in Australia. For people who were not born in Australia o has been given to the variable initially the descriptive statistical analysis has been done with percentage distribution method. After comparing the percentage distribution of different participation group considering the chosen platform and their ancestry the chi-squire analysis has been done. The critical values for both hypotheses testing have been compared with the standard probability value that is 0.05.

Before conducting the research the study procedure has been approved by the Deakin University Human Research Ethics comity. The research strictly abided by the data protection act as well as rights of privacy act (Pasick et al., 2009). The research also ensured that the participants who were recruited willingly involved in this study. Before starting the survey questionnaire participants were asked for their acknowledgement. The participants who were chosen for questionnaire received a message stating “Thank you for your interest in this study”. The participants who were not chosen for questionnaire received a message stating “Unfortunately, you are not eligible to participate”. For both social media and community based survey participants were made aware of the purpose and rationale of this research through the brief outline after the completion of the survey.

Aim

Through the statistical analysis of the numerical raw data the following findings have been obtained:

Table 1: Gender Diversity of the participants

Platform

Male

 n

Female

n

Percentage of Female n (%)

Social Media

5

25

83%

Community

17

13

43%

Student

5

25

83%

From the gender diversity analysis with percentage distribution it has been found that the most of the participants who were willing to participate in this study are female. Especially in social media platform and among the students the significantly higher participation of female population is noticeable. However, in community participants the female participation is less than the male participation.  

Table 2: Age diversity of the participants

Platform

Mean Age

n (year)

Standard Deviation

Social Media

25.97

6.77

Community

47

16.63

Student

25

1.05

From the finding of age diversity analysis it can be noticed that the age of average participants of social media and among the students is within 25 to 26. At the same time, the community based recruitment shows the average age of the participants of 47 years. The higher Standard Deviation of community based participants clearly indicates that the mean age varies with higher rate.

Table 3: Ancestry distribution of participants

Platform

Australian Born

n (%)

English/Australian Ancestry

Social Media

29 (97%)

27 (90%)

Community

27 (90%)

24 (80%)

Student

26 (87%)

22 (73%)

From the finding of Ancestry distribution of participants it can be noticed that the percentage participants born in Australia are ranged from 87 to 97% depending on the three individual platform namely social media, community and students. At the same time, the percentage participants has ancestry of different nation are ranged from 87 to 97%.

From the chi squire analysis the following findings have been formulated:

  • For participants who were born in Australia, x2(2, n = 90) = 1.94, p = 0.522.
  • For participants with main self-identified ancestry, x2(2, n = 90) = 2.76, p = 0.252.

As per the theory of testifying the hypotheses, the p value should be considered. If the p value of a statistics becomes higher than the probability variable, the hypothesis should be nullified. For the lower value than probability variable the hypothesis should be accepted. Considering the degree of freedom for the variables of this research the probability value is 0.05. Therefore, for participants who were born in Australia the p value became higher than 0.05. It means the hypothesis 1 should be negated. On the other hand, for participants with main self-identified ancestry the p value also became higher than 0.05. It emphasises that the hypothesis 2 of this research should also be negated.

The aim of this research was to explore the recruitment methods used in any research through social media, student and community method for examining the association of these techniques with the cultural diversity of Australian participants. Therefore, this research examined the preference of participants who was born in Australia and who has English/Australian ancestry through three platform based divisions namely Social media, Community based and Student based data collection. The significance of the variables has been successfully analysed with statistical data analysis method.  

Hypothesis 1: The participants born in Australia and who were not born in Australia have different preference towards the different recruitment method.

According to the chi-squire test the hypothesis 1 should be negated. Therefore, it has been proven that there was no significant association between the recruitment method and whether the participants were born in Australia.

Hypothesis 2: The effectiveness of recruitment method differs as per the self-identified ancestry of the participants

According to the chi-squire test the hypothesis 2 should also be negated. Therefore, it has been proven that there was no significant association between the recruitment method and the participants’ main self-identified ancestry.

Hypotheses

As per the findings of this research it has become clear that the socio-psychological perceptions which are influenced by the origin of the participants does not emphasise the preference or biasness of the study platform selection. Therefore, in primary data collection process, researcher can avoid the biasness of participants through any form of data collection platform. This result is most tangible for the Australian population. The most behavioural theories which have the origins in psychology, sociology, anthropology, epidemiology, and medical science could be considered as an independent from any biased participation because of the selection of media (Schlüter et al., 2017). Human perception is a collective result of environment, experience and knowledge where the priority of cultural and ethnic background has no influence.

Along with the major findings other significant factors can be found from the data analysis which includes demographic background and their influence on the choice of participants. It has been found that participants who want to join in social media based survey are most likely to be female. At the same time, within students female population are mostly interested towards the social studies. On the other hand, in community based study the number of male and the number of female participants is less likely to be different.  Males and females are equally interested in face to face data collection approach (Davis et al., 2015). Apart from that, in social media younger generation has more interest to participate in a study. In student base, this result is very expected. However, in community based study middle aged people shows more interest in it.  

Ancestry of a population refers the cultural or ethnic origin that the group of people can most closely identify with, irrespective of the birth place. In 2016, the Census identified more than 300 different ancestries in Australia. Our 10 most common ancestries are: English (36.1%), Australian (33.5), Irish (11.0%), Scottish (9.3%), Chinese (5.6%), Italian (4.6%), German (4.5%), Indian (2.8%), Greek (1.8%) and Dutch (1.6%) (Abs.gov.au., 2017).

As per the analysis and discussion, any primary data collection based does not have to consider the media of data collection to collect data from diverse and multicultural population.  At the same time, if a study requires specific sampling biased on different age group or gender preference, choosing of data collection platform and process could be very effective. At the same time, to collect demographically diverse data irrespective of the gender or age group, a research should consider different data collection platform to negate the tendency of the sampling or participant selection to be biased (Dolan et al., 2016). In any further study of cultural diversity, any mode of primary data collection process can be chosen without warring about the independence and unbiased responses.

The major limitation of this research is its sample size. Due to the inadequate time the study was able to recruit only a stipulated number of participants through different platforms. Apart from that this research is unable to recruit the cultural minorities that includes non-Caucasian and low socio-economic participants. Therefore, the result will not accurate for a population where majority of the participants are from low economic background or from cultural minorities. This research is focused only on the metropolitan area of Australia for community based data collection. The outcome could differ if the locations were distributed among semi urban or rural areas.

To make further research more feasible for wider group of population the number of participants should be bigger. At the same time, to have more tangible and accurate result further research should also collect community based data from urban, rural and semi urban   areas. If any further study requires specific sampling biased on different age group or gender preference, choosing of data collection platform and process could be very effective. At the same time, for any further study of cultural diversity, any mode of primary data collection process can be chosen without warring about the independence and unbiased responses.

Conclusion

From the above discussion it can be concluded that cultural or social background of participants does not influence their choice of selecting communication media to participate in a study. At the same time, depending on the mode and platform of the data collection process the demographic background of the participants namely age and gender could differ. Therefore no specific method is needed that can help to obtain unbiased data from a cultural diverse participants to cause less dependency on socio-psychological behaviour of the target population.

Reference

Abs.gov.au. (2017). 2024.0 - Census of Population and Housing: Australia Revealed, 2016. Retrieved from https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/[email protected]/Latestproducts/2024.0Main%20Features22016?opendocument&tabname=Summary&prodno=2024.0&issue=2016&num=&view=

Casler, K., Bickel, L., & Hackett, E. (2013). Separate but equal? A comparison of participants and data gathered via Amazon’s MTurk, social media, and face-to-face behavioral testing. Computers in Human Behavior, 29, 2156-2160., doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2013.05.009

Davis, R., Campbell, R., Hildon, Z., Hobbs, L., & Michie, S. (2015). Theories of behaviour and behaviour change across the social and behavioural sciences: a scoping review. Health psychology review, 9(3), 323-344., doi: 10.1080/17437199.2014.941722

Dolan, R., Conduit, J., Fahy, J., & Goodman, S. (2016). Social media engagement behaviour: a uses and gratifications perspective. Journal of Strategic Marketing, 24(3-4), 261-277., doi: 10.1080/0965254X.2015.1095222

Fenner, Y., Garland, S. M., Moore, E. E., Jayasinghe, Y., Fletcher, A., Tabrizi, S. N., ... & Wark, J. D. (2012). Web-based recruiting for health research using a social networking site: an exploratory study. Journal of medical Internet research, 14(1)., doi: 10.2196/jmir.1978

Henrich, J., Heine, S. J., & Norenzayan, A. (2010). The weirdest people in the world? Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 33, 61-135. Retrieved from: https://hdl.handle.net/10419/43616

Pasick, R. J., Burke, N. J., Barker, J. C., Joseph, G., Bird, J. A., Otero-Sabogal, R., ... & Washington, P. K. (2009). Behavioral theory in a diverse society: Like a compass on Mars. Health Education & Behavior, 36(5_suppl), 11S-35S., doi: 10.1177/1090198109338917

Schlüter, M., Baeza, A., Dressler, G., Frank, K., Groeneveld, J., Jager, W., ... & Schwarz, N. (2017). A framework for mapping and comparing behavioural theories in models of social-ecological systems. Ecological Economics, 131, 21-35., doi: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2016.08.008

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