Questionnaire Lab

Sneha Karkala and Sonia Patel, Martin 2nd Period

Question

Does gender affect how strong of an opinion one has on a controversial issue?

Hypothesis:

Men will be more likely to choose "strongly agree" or "strongly disagree" on controversial issues.

Type of Investigation: Comparative Investigation

Parts of Experiment

  1. Dependent Variable - Number of times choosing strongly agree or strongly disagree

  2. Independent Variable - Gender

  3. Control- none

  4. Experimental group- Males and females between the ages of 14-18 at CHS

  5. Two factors held constant - Both genders received the same survey questions and were told of the survey’s anonymity to avoid bias.

Data Table: The Effect of Gender on Number of Strong Opinions

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GRAPHS

Graph of Mean with Error Bars of 2 SEM

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Graph of Median with error bars representing range

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Analysis

There is no statistical difference in the number of “strong” responses people have to controversial questions by gender. On average, each female chose 1.84 strong responses while males chose 1.58 strong responses. Though females had a higher mean, this difference is not statistically significant. This lack of statistical difference is evident in two ways: overlapping error bars and a high p-value. The bar graph with error bars of 2 SEM had an error bar range of 1- 2.5 strong responses for females and 1.25-2 strong responses for males. These two ranges clearly overlap, showing that the “true” mean of males and females could very well be the same. Furthermore, a t-test with the raw data collected yield a p-value of 0.53; well above a statistically significant p-value of less than 0.05. Though this experiment showed no statistical significance between the two genders, research from other experiments concludes otherwise. According to the gender schema theory, “young children are influenced by society's ideas about what it means to be a male or female in their culture”(Gender Schema Theory 1). This influence solidifies around “age 3”(Gender Schema Theory 1) and they accept that schema as their identity. This leads them to create separate opinions based on how they were raised, either as a boy or a girl. Although this theory suggests that gender does have an effect on opinions, it does not specify which gender is more opinionated, indicating that the data collected in this experiment is, on some level, accurate. Men were at first hypothesized to carry stronger opinions due to the theory of machismo, which states that “men carry more fierceness or bravado than women” in every aspect and are generally more domineering than women (Latin America- Machismo). In other words their opinions are more polar and weighty compared to women’s opinions. This theory , however, is not accurate because of its “bias towards men and lack of research”(Latin America-Machismo). As such, the results collected in this experiment represent a much clearer trend: gender does not have a significant impact on the number of strong opinions an individual has.


Conclusion

This experiment found that there is no significant statistical difference in the number of “strong” responses chosen by males and females. Therefore, the original hypothesis that males would choose “strongly agree” and “strongly disagree” more often was proven incorrect.


Sources of Error/Inaccuracies

To improve the procedure of this experiment and yield more accurate results, the size of the experimental group should be expanded. In this experiment, 25 people (13 females and 12 males) were asked a series of 5 controversial questions through an online survey. Expanding the experimental group to a larger audience would improve the accuracy of this experiment. Increasing the number of questions each responder was asked would also create a wider set of data to use. With only 5 controversial questions, some individuals may not have been exposed to the issues they were being questioned about and therefore would not have had a strong opinion on the matter.

Bibliography

Chalkboard with Male and Female. Digital image. N.p.,n.d.Web.7 Sept. 2015.

"Gender Schema Theory: Definition & Explanation - Video & Lesson Transcript | Study.com." Study.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Sept. 2015.

"Latin America - Machismo." - Male, Macho, Wife, and Mistress. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Sept. 2015.

Personal Opinions. Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Sept. 2015.

Question Mark between Female and Male. Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Sept. 2015.