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# The Experiment

The experiment hereinafter was carried out to test the hypothesis ‘there is an association between the choice made by a person and the choice they expect others to make’. This hypothesis is a description of the false consensus bias which is severally described as simply the tendency to believe that everyone shares our own feelings and behavior (Harvey, " Weary, 1981). This may also be an attempt to protect our self-esteem by assuming our opinions are correct and are shared by most others (Zuckerman, Mann, " Bernieri, 1982).

Method

The experiment was done as a survey with a questionnaire to collect the relevant according to the respondents and the required variables for the assessment. There were two independent variables (Age; Gender) and two dependent variables (Own choice; Others’ choice).

There were 55 participants randomly selected from within the classroom. The gender distribution of the sample population was 6 male and 49 female. The age range was 43-17=26yrs. The mean age was  X=25.62 yrs and the standard deviation was SD=7.00yrs. This is how the statistical measures are reported in APA format: Age as whole numbers other decimals to 2d.p. except for values ranging only from 0

The measures for the experiment were ordinal. They were developed with the objective of the assessment that required innate and uninfluenced response to the experiment question. The following table describes the measures.

Name of variable

Type of measure

Measurement level

Number of measurement levels

Possible scores

Age

Self-report

1 of approx. 100

Approx. 100

Gender

Self-report

1 of 3

3

1 or 2 or 3

Own Choice

Ordinal Response

1 of 2

2

1or2

Others Choice

Ordinal response

1of 2

2

1 or 2

The study took place in a classroom. The study lasted for one hour. The participants were alone when participating with the researcher. They were reminded of their rights and were provided for an area for consent signing in the questionnaire document used for the research. The participant was asked four questions in the following order: 1. how old are you? 2.  Of what gender are you? Would you wear the sign “Eat at Joe’s”? and Do you think the other people would wear the sign “Eat at Joe’s” The participants were debriefed at the end of the study.

Results

The most appropriate analysis to test the hypothesis was to describe the tabular results with the measures of central tendency. 2 male participants reported they would wear the sign. 31 female participants reported they would wear the sign. In APA format the numbers for human count are reported as whole numbers.

Others will agree to wear the Eat sign

Others will not agree to wear the Eat sign

Total

Participants agreed to wear the Eat Sign

15

6

21

Participants did not agree to wear the eat sign

7

17

24

Total

22

23

Chi square statistic – 11.28 Degrees of freedom 4 and Significance level p=.200

APA reporting for the Chi square test  is such that p values that range between 0

Discussion

The study aimed to test the stated hypothesis which is premised on the false consensus bias where a person expects that their opinion is held by the others. It can be concluded the description above that the opinion of a person is not necessarily the same as of the others. Whereas the opinion of oneself in the experiment was largely shared with the others, the data shows a significant level of difference on the corresponding opinion of the others hence to some extent failing the hypothesis stated above. However a wholesome approach proves the hypothesis. The results are similar to previous research by Pro. Lee Ross of Stanford university in 1977.

Limitations to my study. The sample size obtained may not be representative of the broad/universal views. This is why the results provide a leaning to an anti-hypothesis as opposed to previous research.

In future a research can be done with a higher number of variables to test the same hypothesis. This would provide a higher degree of freedom for the data and subsequently more accurate conclusion.

My findings can be used in psychology classes to discuss the false consensus effect and the results of egocentricism on others. It could also be used in political science and management classes to enlighten leaders to be listeners rather than applicants of own thought in the assumption that everyone holds their opinions.

References

Bordens, S. K., " Horowitz, I. A. (2013). Social psychology. Psychology press.

Zuckerman, M. (1991). Psychobiology of personality. Cambridge university press.

Ross, L., " Nisbett, R. E. (2011). The person and the situation: Perspectives of social psychology. Pinter " Martin Publishers.