Empirical Methods in Research

Empirical Methods in Research

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Empirical Methods in Research

Participants in experiment 1 were randomly assigned to avatars dressed in black or white cloak and were then engaged in three-person group discussions of the scenario. The manipulated independent variable was the avatar (black and white) while the grouping variable was gender (male vs. female). The two dependent variables in experiment 1 were attitude and group cohesion employed to assess avatar’s effects on participants’ cognition. Researchers tested for internal validity in experiment 1 and 2 by carrying out a post experimental testing asking participants if they were suspicious of the manipulations in the experiment and whether they could guess and state the research hypothesis. Black and white avatars significantly affect men than women in experiment 1 limiting the external validity while low video game experience especially among male participants affects the same in experiment 2. Using avatars in experiment 1 enhanced cognitive attitudes of the participants but reduced group cohesion and the later limits generalization due to gender response to priming. Interaction between male participants and avatars revealed that interaction existed because male participants using black avatars registered lower levels of cohesion as presented by the mean and F-statistics. The participants in experiment 2 were given 3 conditions; not come up with several short stories from single slide; not to compose stories with no outcomes omitting characters and situations; and avoid stories that caught on detail with no clear plot. Design in experiment 2 was superior to 1 because it used standard TAT guidelines for creating stories; and presenting avatars as accidents of convenience in third person view. The classmate is incorrect in generalization since findings suggest that female participants were neutral to the experiment in group cohesion test while awareness levels also showed significant differences among the participants

Work cited

Pena, Jorge, Hancock, T., Jeffrey and Merola, Nicholas. “Priming Effects of Avatars in Virtual Settings.” Communication Research 36.6 (2009): 838-856. Web