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Data Collection Methodology

Data Collection Methods- Experiment


Our group will be using a quantitative method to collect data. The method we will use is an experimental design. We decided to use this method because we believe that it does not require the participants to disclose too much personal information and thoughts that they might be uncomfortable sharing. According to Creswell’s “Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches”, an experimental design is to test the impact of a treatment on an outcome, controlling for all other factors that might influence that outcome. According to Creswell, the experimenter can isolate whether it is the treatment and not other factors that influence the outcome. The experimental design is relevant to the study we are proposing because we want to know if social media like Facebook affects teenage girls’ views of body image.

Population and Sample

Our population of interest is teenage girls between the ages of 13 and 18. We will use a participatory approach to collect data. Although the girls will be selected through random sampling, it is important that they are willing participants in the experiment. We do not wish to force any teenage girls to be a part of the experiment. The experiment includes asking teenage girls about how they view their body image; therefore we do not want any participants in the experiment that are unwilling to share their views on body image. In our sample, there will be different categories of people. The categories include teenagers that check Facebook more than 8 times a day, teenagers that check Facebook less than 5 times a day, and teenagers who have no Facebook account.  From the population, we will select 90 girls to be in the sample group. Each category will have 30 participants. We will use cluster sampling because we will create a sample group through identifying the clusters or groups in the population based on Facebook usage and then randomly select participants for each category.

Study Site

The site of our study will be a high school. We selected it purposefully because it is the place that has teenage girls from ages 13-18 gathered in one place. We will only be studying one high school. In order to gain access, we will have to speak to the principal of the school. He or she will have to allow us access to conduct the experimental design with the teenage girls.

Data Collection Process


After we are allowed access to the school by the principal, we will request that all the female students in grades 9-12 report on a piece of paper the number of times they check Facebook each day. The paper will include the girl’s name and official class. Then, we will separate all the girls from grades 9-12 into three categories based on their reports of Facebook usage. From the three categories, we will randomly select 30 females from each category to be our sample. Therefore, from the entire female population in the high school, only 90 girls will be a part of our experiment.  The control group is the group that has teenage girls with no Facebook accounts. The experiment groups are the groups containing teenage girls that check Facebook more than 8 times a day and less than 5 times a day. The independent variable is the amount of Facebook usage in a day. The dependent variable is the percentage of girls that report to want to have a body shape based on a scale of 1-9. The effect of the independent variable on the dependent variable will be recorded in percentage. Ideally, the data should show that teenage girls who use Facebook more than 8 times a day would like to have the body shape of figures 1, 2, or 3 in the scale. Ideally, the percentage of teenage girls that report to wanting a body shape in figures 1, 2, or 3 should be higher for those who use Facebook more than 8 times a day than girls that have no Facebook.

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