Task 3: Project Complete

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.

_______________________________________________________________________________

References:
Resnik, D 2015, ‘What is ethics and why is it important?’, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, viewed 2 June 2017,
<https://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/resources/bioethics/whatis/&gt;

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

Task 3: better known as HOLY MOLY THAT THING IS DUE SOON?!?!

I wish I could say that an assignment’s due date just popped out of nowhere. 

I can’t lie to you, dear readers. I’ve known about this one for many, many weeks and knowing that fact is really not making it much easier.

If you’ve checked out my BCM212 tab, you’ll know that I am currently undertaking a project about Australian politics and young people. It has been a bit of an interesting topic to research – finding out the varying opinions across Australian media and of course, my peers in BCM212 and my friends. A lot of the time when we are passionate about a subject or at least vaguely interested, quality research is rarely undertaken. A lot of time we get opinions from others or we find information that we deem is true – and sometimes it really isn’t.

It has been difficult over the last couple of weeks to allocate time to really smash this one out with other assignments due and just my Netflix obligations (I know Mum; I KNOW you’re proud). A task this ‘big’ (even though it is indeed quite small) is often daunting as it is completely self-directed – I can barely remember to put peanut butter on my toast before I eat it let alone start a brand spankin’ new project by myself and get it going.

I assure you, treasured scholar, that I will give a final reflection in the next coming weeks* and will also give a general overview of my findings just to put that educational icing on top of the intelligence cake. You’re welcome.

 

*It’s literally part of the assessment. I have to do it.
BUT I am doing it for you, my reader. Just remember that.

 

P.S You’ll be surprised to learn that the woman in my feature image is actually not me. Just as surprisingly, I can’t actually read. The more things you know.

image credit:
<https://www.brainscape.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/stressed-student_1.jpg&gt;

Project Research 2: The Tale of the Looming Deadline

For my BCM212 project, I am researching Australian politics and the interest young people invest in it. After getting the ok from my tutor, I started delving a little deeper into the topic. As I’ve said in previous BCM blog posts, young people and Australian politics is something that I am considerably passionate about. I think that if you are going to undertake something like this, you have to pick something that you are going to want to do and make sure a deadline isn’t the only thing to keep you going.

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been writing and releasing survey questions while also formulating questions for an informal interview with a couple of people – some who is interested in politics and some who aren’t. It isn’t going to be anything too elaborate – just an expansion on the survey questions with a bit of context behind it.

Another thing that has become a major part of my project is formulating a risk monitoring strategy. It basically involves determining what risks I have encountered and what I am I doing to combat them – while also continuing to monitor them so it will not happen again. Major ones that have begun to affect this project are time management and planning, communicating with all you guys!! and of course, the ever-dreaded bias.

I thank everyone who has answered my survey and taken the time to get involved in my project. I plan on communicating a lot more with everyone about the contents of my project and eventually, the result.

Stay tuned to find out more or tweet me @lozrissa if you have any questions or want to contribute in any way. I’m forever open to ideas, and would forever grateful if you did!

Image credit: http://ericasuter.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/bk

 

Damn generic surveys!

As most of you know, I am currently completing a #BCM212 research project that involves asking basically any question in the history of the world. Which makes me cry every. damn. time a lecturer says it.

BECAUSE I HAVE NO QUESTIONS!

But luckily I found one in the back of my head somewhere, between the lyrics to Let’s Go To The Mall by Robin Sparkles and 21,879 digits after the decimal place to square root of pi.

Q: Are young people interested in Australian politics?

A: How the hell should I know? That’s why I am asking. Seriously. The nerve of some people.

All I ask of you, measly servants treasured readers is that you please fill out my generic survey that will take less time than it does to realise you have absolutely no money in your bank account (which is 5.2 seconds) (for me).

Check it out at this link here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YZ9CVVF

Or don’t. But know that I’m not angry, just disappointed.

Mum I had a thought – and yes, it hurt

 

As a young person, I watch programs like Q&A because I want to be educated about problems facing Australians and what is being done by our government bodies and our politicians in particular. I source my news from mostly online as I like to make sure I am informed and therefore form opinions based on accurate information.

And I don’t know about you guys, but sometimes I watch our politicians and shake my head. Do the middle-aged men and women understand what the young people of today have to face in their futures? As a curious cat, I googled the ages of our current 45th Parliament of Australia and found that out of 226 members, ONLY ONE WHOLE ENTIRE REAL PERSON is under the age of 30 (Parliamentary Education Office, 2017)

And it made me wonder, in the current political climate,

Are young people today interested in Australian politics?

Are young people not interested because they feel as though they aren’t heard and that one vote means nothing? Or are they interested because they want to do something about it?

I plan on using primary and secondary research in order to find out not only are they interested, but how do they engage with politics (if they do at all) and offer some possible advice to our nation’s leaders on what they could consider in order to appeal to the younger generations of Australia. I plan to find out if less and less young people are entering politics and why over one-third of Australians aged 18-24 are not enrolled to vote (according to the last election data in 2016). This includes polling, surveys and perhaps one on one interviews with people who are interested and those who aren’t. I also want to use secondary research methods to see what other academics and media publications believe about this topic and what methods can be implemented to fix it if necessary.

A personal problem that I face is that I am very passionate about this topic. I need to be more aware of my own bias while conducting any interviews or communicating at all to anyone who helps me form the basis of my primary research. During Year 12 I also completed an independent research task and ensuring bias did not filter into my work is vital in maintaining the integrity of the project – something I will strive for throughout this project. To get it all out of the way, I will be also writing another blog post that will illustrate my own views and what I think I might find.

Overall, I find that this topic will be very interesting regardless of the outcome and I look forward to discussing it with my peers, family and friends.

 
What do you think?

Have an opinion?

Comment below or tweet me @lozrissa

 

 
References:

http://www.peo.gov.au/learning/parliament-now/statistics.html

Curious is such a curious word – and other musings

As an avid napper and all round lazy human, I often get frustrated with myself because I feel like I don’t have enough curiosity, enough drive to make it through the day or venture through the world on my own.

So short story short, I was staring at a few “interesting”* drafts of this particular post thinking, I’M NOT CURIOUS ENOUGH. And then I got curious about why curious has a ‘u’ and curiosity doesn’t, (which is bloody annoying) and I quickly realised that curiosity doesn’t have to be this big loud WHATTHESHITWASTHAT bang in the middle of an open paddock or whatever.

According to Litham (2008), curiosity is the desire for knowledge, to ask and get an answer and finally breathe, ease ye ol’ mind and be like “I now know that actor’s name because if I didn’t find it out I would be losing my mind for the rest of the day. I also know his current whereabouts and his 5 kids names. He goes for the New York Mets.”

According to me (2017), curiosity is definitely the desire for knowledge, but as busy-body-nosy-humans, we just NEED with all our beings to know what’s going on, all the time, with everyone. At least that’s what it is like with me – and thus, Google and Wikipedia have become my curiosity dealers for all things plane crashyserial killery and, obviously, the 1992 Canadian Open – Men’s Singlesy.

 

5jzmloc-imgur
I made this myself because I’m a good little blogger.

 

I guess I never considered this curiousness as such, more of a hobby or something to pass the time. I love people-watching at a cafe, or listening to dumb gossip about Melanie (did she seriously do that yesterday? like what has been happening with her? it’s over a boy for sure) and I luuurrrvvee reading the wiki page for people who have disappeared mysteriously. Just me being a nosy Nancy.

Or a curious cat.

 

*crap. They were all crap.

 

If you are going to do ANYTHING today, do NOT click here.

Or here.

But you can click here.

 

References: 

Litman, J. A. (2008). Interest and deprivation dimensions of epistemic curiosity. Personality and Individual Differences, 44, 1585–1595. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2008.01.014

Churchill, L. M. (2017). Curiosity: where is the ‘u’?