Throughout the whole semester, I have been working on the research question “How does social media influence body image on young people”. My assumption was because of key opinion leaders e.g. Kylie Jenner, Cristiano Ronaldo, Angelina Jolie, etc. Researches that I read did back up my assumption, but also it was mentioned that it’s very much influential because of surrounding people like our parents, and peers. According to Clask & Tiggerman research, they found they girls had the desire to be thin not because of social media but from their peers who always talk about body sizes. My survey result and focus group also shows that celebrities can’t be avoided they are always going to be the icons, but parents and friends are the ones whose opinion and comment matters on the daily basis. ‘Young girls are put into pressure by intrusive and controlling parents to gain perfection in everything they do in lives’ (Irving, 2008).
In this course, first we figured out our interest area, read some research related to it and then written annotated bibliography, which was very useful for me while I was analysing my data. Then both Qualitative and Quantitative method were applied, to research on my interest area “Key Opinion Leaders, Social Media and Body image”
There are many tools available for web-based surveys, my group used the google survey. It’s makes administrating easier and quicker. It’s very easy to form poor survey questions. Good Survey questions takes more effort and thoughts; I have found that there are five ways to achieve a good survey design. Firstly, every question should only direct one idea, because it can overcomplicate it very easily. If required one question can turn into two questions. Secondly, we should avoid abbreviations, because some people don’t know what’s the full form of it. Thirdly, it’s important in surveys to use simple expressions and language, we have to be confident that the respondents have correctly understood the questions. Fourthly, people tend to miss the negative if other questions are positively worded, therefore Likert-type scale may confuse them with “strongly agree” and “strongly disagree” options, we might want to use phrases like “I never…” and “I always…” rather than “I do…” and “I don’t…” as the difference is more obvious. Lastly, we should avoid questions which leads the respondent toward a “correct” answer. We shouldn’t set our outlook on others, not even unintentionally. To develop and design a good survey, it takes a bit of time and a lot of practice.
Focus groups was developed after World War II to evaluate audience response to radio programs (Stewart & Shamdasani, 1990). Before doing a focus group, we should have clear-cut idea of what we want to find out, and then the focus group structure can be determined. We should be open minded and watch people’s body language and verbal language, that feedback allows us to explore those findings. Recording is a helpful way to go back and listen to the feedback you have missed. With this we can identify trend and patterns in perceptions. “Don’t do a lot of talking in focus groups, because the whole point is to get the feedback from the other person,” (Biery, 2011). A lot of talking, definitely narrows the feedback. The negative side of focus group is that it’s usually made up of a very small number of people, so we can’t assume that their perceptions and views can represent all of the other groups that might have different trait.
If I had to do something differently next time, it would be to use Surveymonkey to form the question, it’s because it’s better than the google survey and I wouldn’t need to manually type out each and everything on the excel to produce the bar charts/pie charts. I think I did best on the research I did before starting off the actual making of the questionnaire and focus group, because I had clear idea of what I want to learn, therefore the questionnaire design was very good and the results were very useful and supported my points. In the focus group, I could have asked more follow up questions to dig in the issue deeper. Other than that, I was happy with the information that I got. To sum up, Bcm210 course was a good experience. Working in a group of same interest made it even more fun, research isn’t bad as it sounds like.
Irving, J. (2008). An exploration of the influence of media, advertising, and popular culture on the self-esteem, identity, and body image in adolescent girls. [online] Scholarworks.smith.edu. Available at: https://scholarworks.smith.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2316&context=theses
Biery, M. (2011). What you can learn from focus groups. [ebook] Available at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/what-you-can-learn-from-focus-groups/2011/12/08/gIQAQ4tcsO_story.html?utm_term=.85ad942b9703
Meshioye, A. (2016). Influences Social media has on body image, anxiety and self-esteem in young adults.. [online] Esource.dbs.ie. Available at: http://esource.dbs.ie/bitstream/handle/10788/3040/ba_meshioye_a_2016.pdf?sequence=1
Stewart, D. and Shamdasani, P. (1990). Focus Groups. [ebook] Sage Publications, Inc. Available at: http://www.upv.es/i.grup/repositorio/Stewart%20Shamdasani%201990%20Focus%20Groups.pdf