Research conducted by: Michael Fish, Kyra Heatly, Brianna Whitney, and Mary Beth Shearn
In our research study, we wanted to determine how Mizzou students find their political information and how they discuss it with their peers via social media. We interpreted this into four research questions that are answered via Mizzou student survey that was posted by each member of the research group. Based on past literature, the younger American audience heavily discusses politics via social media and our evidence supports this. The survey results are explained through pie charts and then followed by take away points of what we all learned from the results of the survey. Our research questions determine where Mizzou students find their political information and how they discuss it with their peers via social media. What we narrowed down with one another and wanted to focus to find out more about was in our four research questions which are:
RQ1: What communication mediums do Mizzou students use to access political information? Such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
RQ2: Why are Mizzou students motivated to publicly post about politics?
RQ3: Do dissenting opinions of you personal political beliefs discussed face-to-face or on social media bring you discomfort?
RQ4: What classes at Mizzou engage Mizzou students to discuss politics more freequently/less often? Such as Political Science, History, Communications, etc
Increasing social media usage affects the perspectives we have on important issues in our life. People gather the information from a variety of news sources. It allows people to express themselves. Our culture is consumed with media. Looking down the line, say, 10 years from now, will show us how far we have come with social media. We wonder what it will be like even two years from now. It seems a little scary to think about.
The reason why these questions are what we found to be important and to focus on is because social media provides greater communication mediums for our age group, they increase the amount of knowledge we receive, and they increase the potential for us to engage in political discussion with our peers face-to-face. (Shirk, 2011, p 29)
Political information, especially in campaign seasons, is more readily accessible and shown on social media in an attempt to attract attention to a young audience, while advertising to older communities on television (Price, 2012).
Our IRB was approved the morning after Tim Wolfe’s resignation. Our Facebook feeds were flooded, so our first assumption of the survey. Second assumption would be increased motivations to post a dissenting perspective because of campus climate. We connected our findings with the ConcernedStudent1950 and looked at numerous social media sights that showed people expressing their opinions, updates with what was going on, etc.
We began to find our results by creating a Qualtrics survey. Each member posted the survey for our political study via Facebook, via text, and word of mouth. We opened up the Qualtrics study on November 12, 2015 and had it remain open for 27 days. In all, 120 participants began the survey, but only 94 completed the survey. For survey results, we were pleased to find that our male to female ratio for who answered the survey was quite similar in that the percentage of males that took it was 46% and females that took it was at 54%. Therefore, the method of using the Qualtrics survey worked in our advantage, unlike other groups and we think this is because we asked people to take it using multiple outlets.
Some interesting points from the results we also found were there was relatively no gender bias in data. The amount of males that took the survey was 46% and the amount of females that took it was 54%. Now, this is only coming off of the 94 individuals that completed the survey of the 120 that actually started it. From this, and based on the trend of the two data sets, what we concluded is that it’s not far fetched to think that if the extra 26 people had completed the survey, that our results would correlate further and justify our present results.
Another interesting thing we found was that there was a somewhat evenly distributed political identity in the survey. The amount of Democrats and Republicans were relatively the same when it came to how much they posted, or how overt they were with talking about political issues and their own views.
We had missing data because not all participants completed the survey. Only 94 of the 120 completed the survey so this is where we can’t fully prove that our results are completely true, but the comparison of other data says it’s possible and that it is more accurate than not. Keeping the survey open accidently for an extra 3 days helped this.
We also had contradictions. A large number of participants stated they did not care for the discussion of politics on social media yet the majority of participants claimed that they would respond to initiated discussions. Our social media news feeds say otherwise. People said they didn’t post , or engage in political discussion, but we saw and see it everywhere. Self reporting social media use is wildly inaccurate of what we found. As past research has suggested, the younger generation, preferably millennials, will be discussing politics on social media further and further.
— A Health Blog (@AHealthBlog) October 19, 2015
1. This article is about mental health disorders that people in the world deal with and statistics on things such as how many people have them, differences in sex and gender with different disorders, different parts of the world where disorders are more prevalent, etc. I chose this article because I know many people that suffer with anxiety, depression, OCD, and other mental health disorders, and it’s good to know and try to understand the ways in which these people deal with their everyday lives and also knowing statistics could help people understand and try to help people with these disorders in a better way.
2. The data from this article is from aboutdepressionfacts,com and the actual statistics were provided by the National Institute of Mental Health Disorders with the added infographic from the National Council for Behavioral Health. The research and statistics came from The National Institute of Mental Health Disorders, but the article didn’t exactly indicate how they went about getting the numbers that they did.
3. A question that I have about the article is, “Does the National Institute of Mental Health Disorders conduct this type of research every year to see the differences or changes in the prevalence of mental disorders?” I would also like to know, “Does the National Institute of Mental Health Disorders think that someday the prevalence of mental health disorders will be diminished, especially with the future bringing in new medications and treatments for mental health illness?”
Current Population Demographics and Statistics for Missouri by age, gender and race. http://t.co/nTqUm3xIwW
— Jay Thompson (@FollowingFacts) October 2, 2015
1. This article is about statistics and current population demographics for Missouri indicated by age, gender, and race. I chose this article because I found it interesting to see the different numbers, especially one’s that surprised me, and to analyze them and to think further into the statistics and demographics.
2. The data in the article comes from the site suburbanstats.org, Suburban Stats Inc., but the information was conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. The research was conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau by using a census for the years 2014 and 2015 to indicate statistics on Missouri residents.
3. A question I have about the article is, “Did the U.S. Census Bureau conduct other census’ and compare it to Missouri in another article?” I also want to know, “Does Missouri fall short in any categories or exceed in numbers over other states in the categories the census asked about?”
Some Statistics on College Student Identity Theft http://t.co/UcXXQYzo1J
— Sonya SmithValentine (@SonyaValentine) October 15, 2015
1. This article is about identity theft statistics for college students and things that college students do and allow in their lives that could explain why these things happen. I chose this article because as a college student myself, I have had theft happen on my credit and debit card and it is not only a scary thing, but very prevalent nowadays with college students.
2. The data and statistics in the article was written and published on The Financially Fierce Blog, but the numbers came from The Identity Theft Resource Center when they surveyed 1,000 college students and 1,000 parents. the researched was conducted by a survey given by The Identity Theft Resource Center, and they asked questions such as “Are you concerned about identity theft,” “Do you leave your dorm room unlocked,” “Have you ever let a stranger into your apartment,” and many other questions.
3. A question I have about this article is, “How many universities in all did The Identity Theft Resource Center survey, or did they not ask what school they went to?” I also want to know, “Did The Identity Theft Resource Center go back and try the survey again and get any other results from years or even months later after their first survey?”
— Social Media Today (@socialmedia2day) October 13, 2015
1. This article is about how much effort, time, and money small businesses put into social media such as it showing statistics on which social media outlets people use most, how many small businesses have blogs, how social media budgets are on the rise, etc. I chose this article because I am constantly on social media and I have always been a fan and supporter of small businesses and their success, as I have worked and currently do at one now.
2. The article came from a tweet I saw on SocialMediaToday, written by Carianne King, and talks about how the company called Vertical Response surveyed 500 of its small business customers to ask, “How much time and money do you spend on social?” They didn’t indicate the exact way they surveyed their customers, but based on this question, Vertical Response gathered their own evidence and show an infographic for the statistics regarding their question and more.
3. A question I have regarding this article is, “Did Vertical Response gather information about how large businesses may conduct their business using social media to compare it to their own? I also want to know, “What are some specific strategies small business use with social media to draw people in?”
Studies reveal how we use Twitter, Reddit in our relationships | Digital Trends http://t.co/TcEgtT4HFA
— SB App Awards (@SBAppAwards) February 15, 2015
- This article is about how people use communication channels like Twitter, Reddit and messaging apps which, entail, reveals a lot about people’s own relationships with one another, based off studies from the Georgia Tech College of Computing. I chose this article because since social media is so prominent in today’s age, it was very intriguing to read into research and statistics on how much it not only impacts people, but also their relationships with others, specifically in the article someone they are intimate with.
- This tweet came from an online article from digitaltrends.com. The research was conducted in three separate studies conducted by the Georgia Tech College of Computing being, “how our Twitter feeds after an engagement,” “how members of online dating services look for help,” and “how couples choose the digital communication channel they use with each other.”
- A question I have about this article is, “How were the people in the study contacted or asked to be in the study?” I would also like to know, “Did they fourthly use other social media outlets other than just Twitter, Reddit, and Tinder that they mentioned in the article later?”