Waiting Her by OmerUnlu
I want to share a recent experiment I conducted for a Psychology course I took about a year ago. We only had two weeks to submit a lab report and present the results to the class, and being the perpetual axe-sharpener that I am, I waited until the last few days to get started.
I guess this is my way of managing your expectations. Dont expect a whole lot of scientific rigor here:P
My study was on generalized perceptions and preconceived notions about race and culture. Specifically, my hypothesis was that there is the shared perception that black people of any age are hipper than their Caucasian counterpart.
Ever since I was a kid I thought black people were innately cooler than whites, and had a hunch other people did too. I seized the opportunity to see if I was right.
I had some concerns though: I didnt know what my black friends and classmates would think of the experiment. I also worried that my hypothesis would be proven wrong. I decided to go ahead with it anyway.
The experiment was conducted using an online survey. The survey consisted of four pages, each with photos of a black person or couple and a comparative (not exact matching) photograph of a Caucasian person or couple. The photos used for the study were chosen for being natural and authentic looking and not conforming to a universal norm.
Participants were to either instructed to choose who was most hip (i.e. Choose the gentleman you think is most hip) or asked who was hipper (i.e. Who is the hipper woman of Star Trek?).
Participants were not required to make a choice one way or the other however. They could pass and move to the next question without making a selection.
There were 528 people who started the survey and 415 participants who finished it, for a completion rate of 79.17%. There were 110 drop outs. The survey took an average of 2 minutes to complete.
Here are the photo comparisons and the results. BTW, the photos were not labelled with any description at the time of the survey.
Choose the gentleman you think is most hip:
Results: Black man in suit
What girl is more hip?
Results: Smiling black girl
Who is the hipper woman of Star Trek?
Results: White Star Trek woman (what is her name)?
The discrepancy here could be due to the fact their two photos are not well matched. Specifically, the Caucasian Star Trek actress (name unknown) appears younger and more spontaneous compared to the on duty pose of Nyota Uhura as played by Nichelle Nichols.
Pick the elderly couple you think is more hip
Results: Black elderly couple
As you can see, with exception to a close outcome for the hipper Star Trek woman, the results support my hypothesis that there is a shared perception that black people of any age are hipper than Caucasians of similar age and gender.
For more details on the study, please download the lab report.