Thesis Irb Research Proposal

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Research Proposal for Norwich IRB
1. Name, title, address, and telephone number of principal investigator. Shawna Gibson
Norwich University Psychology Major
Ransom Hall 404
802.371.9015, 802.485.0908

2. Project title.

The Effects of Facebook on Stress and Well-being

3. Proposed starting and ending dates of the research.

This project will start on September 1, 2012 and will be completed by December 15, 2012.

4. Purpose of the research.

Social networking sites grew to phenomenal popularity very quickly giving people little time to adjust to their potential uses and possible distractions. This study will investigate if Facebook, the frequency of use, number of friends, and connectedness to the campus affects participants over all well-being and stress levels in regards to social networking sites like Facebook. A series of questionnaires are used to evaluate participants before and after each stage of the study. The participants are grouped according to how often they use Facebook and to measure their reactions to restrictions placed on Facebook usage and any differences based on their assigned group. Predicted conclusions are that the participants who used Facebook the most before the study will notice the biggest change either in the amount of stress or depression. 5. Statement of the research problem.

Social networking began recently in college communities with Facebook and has been little studied. The purpose of this research is to examine whether Facebook and other social networking sites affect stress levels. Do sites like Facebook and MySpace have a true effect on how users feel about their life, virtual self, love life, and their productivity? Does social networking lead to increased multitasking? Many articles describe the benefits social networking sites could have on preparedness and assimilation into groups. DeAndrea, et al (2011), said that since the invention of social media sites students have been doing better in their first year of college due to an increased level of connectedness towards both their schools and peers. A sense of connectedness increases the confidence students have in them to approach others for help, which leads to better grades. And others like Hrastinski and Denne(2006) the ways that new technologies are being used as learning tools. Social media is a readily accessible way to distribute mass amounts of information to many people but also for one person to ask questions and for everyone on the site to be able to see the answer. An example of this would be Norwich Universities NUoodle, but a future use could be virtual classrooms utilizing tools like Skype or ooVoo. Facebook groups are also popular to distribute information. Clubs and organizations use them to let members know about meetings and events, cancellations and rescheduling. Other studies discuss the affects social media has on personal and emotional development. Junghyun and Roselyn(2011) discuss Facebook’s effects on general happiness. In their study the main component of happiness was friends. They looked at the number of friends that a person has and the impact that number had on a person's “subjective well-being”. If the participant has a large number of friends the were more likely to feel that they had a lot of support but without the ability to make the deep personal connection required for true friendship with all the people on their lists. They also discussed the comments left on the subject’s status. The subjects assume that just because their Facebook friends comment on statuses, that they are showing true compassion even though most of those people would not say the same thing or show the same levels of concern in a day to day conversation. In a similar fashion Pea and Nass(2012) studied the way that electronic multitasking affected the emotional growth of young girls’ age's eight to twelve. Their study found that this multitasking was detrimental to the girls’...
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