Writing Assignment 1: Think of a psychological question that you would like to answer. How might you test it?
The topic I would like to explore is autism and its possible relationship with early childhood companionship. From my experience of living in a single-child family, I feel there is a strong co-relation between the two aspects as I have noticed single children including myself are typically more self-centered and less sociable than children from normal families which could be symptoms of autism.
The theory I would be proposing is single-children are more vulnerable to autism. In order to test the theory, my hypothesis would be only-children are more likely to show autistic traits than children with siblings. According to the Public Autism Awareness Organization from the UK, there is a list of observable behaviors with clear definitions that may imply autism such as lack of eye contact, lack of response to people and showing extreme dislike to close contact. In my experiment, the interviewers will be picking children from the sample that are of same age and have similar family backgrounds. This is to ensure that the most significant variance among the interviewees would be whether they have siblings or not. During the experiment, the children are invited separating to have lunch and a casual chat with an interviewer. The process is secretly video-taped for the next procedure. Whenever an autistic trait is being displayed by the child, the interviewer will note down the exact behavior and the number of repetition. After collecting and analyzing the data, if the average number of autistic traits shown by only-children exceeds the average of children with siblings, we can make a brief confirmation of the theory that only-children are more likely to show autistic traits than children with siblings.