Testing a Theory
When I was in middle school, I thought that if I dressed more fashionably, it would make me more popular in school. For research, I looked at what all of the popular teenagers were wearing at school and what the unpopular teenagers were wearing to school. I looked through magazines and took notes on what was “fashionable” at that time along with going to stores and looking at what was displayed and compared that to what I saw teenagers wearing. I started to purchase these clothes and wear them to school to see if there was any difference in my popularity. I did start to talk to the popular crowd a little more but I did not become more popular because I realized it was not the clothes that made these people stand out, but it was their money and personality. I finally realized that I did not want to hang out with these teens because most of them were snotty, mean, and all they cared about was how much money a person had. I chose to stay away from them because that was not what I wanted to be associated with.
When I did my research I used archival research and naturalistic observation. Archival research is data that has already been collected. I looked through many magazines and newspapers to see what the general opinion of fashionable clothing was. When I observed what the popular teenagers were wearing and took notes of what they thought to be fashionable, I was using naturalistic observation. I did not make any modifications to the situation and only took notes on what I was seeing the teenagers wearing.
If I were given another opportunity to go back and research why these children were more popular that I was, I might have asked a few questions. I would have asked my peers why they thought that these kids were so popular or what requirements were needed to be a popular kid. I could have asked the popular kids why they dressed a certain way and why they did not let other people into their “clicks.” I could have conducted a few case studies in which I would take a single individual and asked him or her what his or her thoughts on the subject are. I also could have taken a very small group of diverse people and asked them the same questions as well. Surveys would have been a good idea as well. If I took a hundred students and asked all of them what they thought made a student popular and what did not, I would have received a general idea of what was looked for in a popular student.