Testing a Theory
September 8, 2012
Marilyn Graves, PH.D.
Testing a Theory
I have never had the opportunity to test a theory formally, but I did test my own theory about what my 6 year old daughter will watch on the television in the evenings by doing my own little experiment. The research method was similar to the Naturalistic observation. When she is done with her homework my wife and I will let her sit down and watch a couple of hours of television of her own choosing. She would either watch television in her own room alone or with us as a family watching what she chose downstairs together. I found that when she was with us she would choose a program that was a sitcom show, such as “Good Luck Charlie “on the Disney channel. When she was alone in her room she almost always would choose a cartoon channel and watch her favorite cartoon show. I would offer the fact that she could watch cartoons with us as a family, but she always would watch her cartoons alone in her room. My experiment was to see if she would watch cartoons with my wife and I in our family room and she will only watch a sitcom show with us or a informational show like “Jack Hanna’s Zoo” show, never a kids cartoon with me or the wife. I would always make sure it was her natural setting and her choice; I never tried to sway her choice and kept everything I could as natural as it always was. My wife was surprised about what we found out and she still to this day will only watch grown-up like shows with mom and dad. I don’t think I could do anything different, without changing the environment of maybe one of us selecting what she would watch but then that would change the circumstances and change the outcome to my theory.
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