I participated in Dr. Fox’s “Creation of an Avatar” experiment, and in this study I was told I was going to have to preform a task. The directions stated that I was going to need to convince a male partner to do something for me in a virtual world, and would need to design an avatar accordingly. I would need to dress and create an avatar in such a way that I believed it would help me accomplish my given task. After the creation of my avatar, I was informed that my planned partner had not shown up for the experiment and instead I would complete another portion of the study, which was looking at pictures of males and ranking them based solely off appearance. After completion of the study and reviewing the debriefing, I realized there was no other male partner, instead the study was to see how I would create my avatar based on the person I was trying to impress or interact with. Based on the study I participated in, my experiment is designed as follows:
In my proposed study I would gather female students who participate in Greek life on campus, and I would inform them that their ultimate task would be to design an avatar that they believed would fit into one of eight well-known Ohio State Sororities that they were randomly assigned. The sororities would be selected from different tiers.
In my study, the independent variable would be the assigned sorority. To accompany the assigned sorority, I would provide sample pictures of the sisters as well as a short written introduction containing pertinent information about the given chapter. There are many ways to manipulate the independent variable. Some of these manipulations include: providing a stimulus to one group and not the other, written materials, and even confederates (Wrench, Thomas-Maddox, Richmond, & McCroskey, 2008).
Each sorority is vastly different; each also has defining characteristics and stereotypes. The dependent variable in my proposed experiment would be the avatars themselves. The appearance of the avatars would allow the researchers to see how each sorority was viewed by other members of Greek life across campus. Measuring the dependent variable of an experiment can come in many forms. The two main strategies in measuring a dependent variable include self-report and observation. To decide which form is most effective in a given experiment, it is important to ask what the basic purpose of the study. From there, it is easiest to consider what is the most efficient way to determine if the manipulation of the independent variable is causing the change in the dependent variable Wrench et al., 2008).. After that determination is made, selecting a given measurement type is a much simpler process. In my study, I would measure the dependent variable through observation. Random assignment is crucial part of every experiment; in my designed study participants would be randomly assigned to a sorority by picking a number one through eight out of a hat. Random assignment means that every participant has an equal chance to be in a research condition, and by picking the sororities at random, this is exactly the case (Wrench et al., 2008)... Another important part of every study is the control group. This group is used as a baseline for comparison, the main point of a control group is to avoid influence. The control group in my study would be assigned the task of creating an avatar