It feels awesome to finally submit this piece of work that I have grown particularly fond of over the last couple of weeks. This topic – Australian politics and young people – is something that I am both passionate about and interested to know the thoughts of my fellow peers. In addition, this is probably the first project I’ve done at university where ethics have been a huge influence on the outcome of the report – especially critical judgement, flexibility and curiosity.
In the beginning, my research started with finding sources and journal articles that related to my topic – what people have been saying, what researchers have found… but up until week 4, the notion of cross-checking major findings didn’t really cross my mind. As most consumers of any media, you generally assume that is factually accurate. Unless it is the Daily Mail. NEVER ever read an article from them and believe that it has any truth to it. Resnik (2015) discusses how important it is for researchers to learn how to interpret and assess another person’s work and make decisions based of those – often that is making the decision to further research the original findings to determine how credible they really are.
Being flexible in any research that you undertake can be a massive determinant in whether it ends up being successful. There will always be boundaries, or little hiccups in the road that seem to make the project that much harder. It is all about accepting that this will happen and adapting – being able to adapt to different situations is what makes a good researcher. According to Wet (2010), possible harm that could come to the project includes unfulfilled expectations, deception, unexpected representations and different interpretations of the same message.
Curiosity – that is where this whole project begins. Being curious enough to research the topic in the first place and endeavour to find out what everyone else thinks. At the end of the day, we all know that not everyone has similar values and beliefs. It is curiosity that makes us want to find out more and motivates human behaviour in general (Loewenstein 1994). As I’ve discussed in past blog posts about BCM212, curiosity is exactly what made me want to use Australian politics as a topic point, and whether my peers felt the same as me.
Throughout this project, it is evident that respecting your participants, as well as the time and effort they have put into your work, is vital in not only them respecting you as a person but leaves them more willing to help in the future. For both my surveys and interview questions, I made sure that I informed them of their rights when it comes to consenting to their information being put into my work; and also made sure they knew that they were appreciated and that I valued the time they gave me.
Therefore, I learned that maintaining ethical standards is vital for both the integrity of your work and often for your own piece of mind – as well as the importance of supporting your fellow researchers. Having faith in their work and giving assistance to others so they can complete it is an important part of researching. Being competitive or even going as far as to sabotage someone else’s work for your benefit will not make anyone feel better – not only does it undermine you but it undermines your own project.
Overall, I’m glad that I have finally completed the project – but I am also so proud of what I have done. I found it extremely difficult to self-direct initially, but once the idea was developed in my mind I was dedicated wholeheartedly. I discussed in my report (which I hope to share the findings of on my blog soon) that I truly wish I put my effort in the report early on and gave myself more time to provide the best report possible. However, I am truly proud of my work and how I have used the lectures and research to produce what I have.
Resnik, D 2015, ‘What is ethics and why is it important?’, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, viewed 2 June 2017,
De Wet, K 2010, ‘The importance of ethical appraisal in social science research: reviewing a faculty of humanities’ research ethics committee’, Journal of Academic Ethics, vol. 8, pp. 301-314
Loewenstein, G 1994, ‘The psychology of curiosity: a review and reinterpretation’, Psychological Bullentin, vol. 116, no. 1, pp. 75-98