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My master's thesis survey

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by HBY, Apr 15, 2013.

  1. HBY

    HBY Chieftain

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    (No, I'm not a bot)
    Hello fellow Civilization addicts, I'm Huib and I'm a Dutch sciences of the arts student and currently working on my master's thesis (and have been doing so for about a year, sigh).
    For my thesis I am conducting some research on video gaming, using an online survey for data collection.

    Since I need as many people filling it out as possible I would like to ask you to spend about 15 minutes of your precious time, you would be helping me a lot. When it's all done I will be giving away some games to thank you. Unfortunately I don't have enough money to give everybody a reward, so the games will go to randomly selected people. Just check the website itself for more details. Please keep in mind this survey is about video games, not games in general.

    The survey is located at: Videogameresearch.nl

    The closing date is May 14th

    Some information about the way your privacy is handled and data usage:

    The survey won't ask you for your name or address or any personal information like that. It does log your IP address, only to give me some means of checking if people have filled it out more than once. Your IP will not be exported along with the data.

    If you would like to have a chance of winning a game (only then) you will be asked to enter your e-mail address. This address is stored in a second database that doesn't log IP addresses or date and time of entry. This way I can never link a certain e-mail address to specific answers.

    The only two persons with access to the data itself are the professor supervising my thesis and myself. The data will just be used for statistic testing.


    When it's all done my thesis will be publicly available on the website of my university, although it will be in Dutch, except for the abstract. Of course I'm willing to post an English summary of the results here and/or on my website if people are interested.

    Thank you!
     
  2. Silurian

    Silurian Deity

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    What aspect of gaming are you researching etc
     
  3. Quackers

    Quackers The Frog

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    Will do this later.
     
  4. HBY

    HBY Chieftain

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    I am researching the socialisation process. With other types of culture or media like for example watching tv or reading parents are a very important factor. People tend to imitate their parents' behaviour and when parents tell their children to for example read only literary books, it really has large influence on their "reading behaviour" when they're adults.
    Not much research has been done on games, and there's another issue: games only started to appear on a large scale in the seventies (in the US, took a little longer in other countries). So for some generations parents never came into contact with games, while these generations do play games. Here it's not really probable that parents are the main socialising factor, and I want to know what is.

    I think that's about it, in a nutshell.
     
  5. peter grimes

    peter grimes ...

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    You may also want to consider posting your survey to /r/samplesize

    But I would check with someone with who's already done that just to find out if the responses will spoil your data set. There's no way to check the integrity of the responders.
     
  6. Silurian

    Silurian Deity

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    I assume you are talking about video/computer games rather board/ card games which were around way before the seventies. I played board and card games with my parents in the 60s and 70s. The video games that I saw in the 70s were shoot em ups plus things like ping pong which we played by pluging a box into the TV. These type of games are less likely to attract older people.

    The questions on education in the UK could be misunderstood because we do not really have seperate schools for technical/craft and more acdemic stream the end of secondary school at 16. After 16 some people things change. You may wish to review the names of the options.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_England
     
  7. HBY

    HBY Chieftain

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    Thank you for your comments.
    I was indeed talking about video games. At the time I created this survey I was convinced that the introduction on the website itself was enough to point out that I was talking about video games, but I did get some comments from people telling me that I should have put it into the survey itself too. I will remember this for the future, changing it now would mean I can no longer compare the data I already have with the data gathered after the change to the survey. And if games from the seventies are indeed less likely to attract older people the data should say so :)

    The levels of education were a huge pain. The main issue was that I first created the Dutch survey, then translated it to English. The Dutch schooling system is a bit strange and different from the system in about every country I know, but I still had to create answer options in English with similar levels of education. In the end I came up with this, also had a few people from the US and UK take a look at it, but I agree: it's far from perfect. But again: I can't change it now.
    Also: I think it's very hard to impossible to create a question on levels of education that applies to and is understandable for people from all over the world. I did look at a lot of example questions, but they weren't really detailed.


    And thank you for suggesting sample size, I will take a look :goodjob:
     
  8. Ayatollah So

    Ayatollah So the spoof'll set you free

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    Oops. Too bad I didn't read this first.
     
  9. BvBPL

    BvBPL Pour Decision Maker

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    Taking the survey now.

    Does "games" refer exclusively to video games or can it include non-video games? I was confused on that issue. I answered based on the idea that it applied to all games. I would have recommended you make it a lot more clear that it applies to all games or video games. This confusion could create problems in your research.

    Your educational question, which I know you had trouble w/, did not collect information on graduate degrees.

    I was uncertain if your question on game play in secondary school refered to games played w/ in the structure of a class or occasions when I played games on campus outside of a class.
     
  10. HBY

    HBY Chieftain

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    Games refer exclusively to video games. The introducing text is about video games, but I noticed that not everybody reads this. Unfortunately I can no longer change the survey itself.

    About game play in secondary school:
    I have 2 types of questions: general questions that use school level as an age indicator, and questions that are about gaming at school. The questions about gaming at school specifically say "in class".
     
  11. BvBPL

    BvBPL Pour Decision Maker

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    This is an error in your instrument, not an inability of your subjects to read. While your subjects know the goal of your research is looking at video games, the manner in which the questions are presented leave it open to the subject regarding whether an individual question refers to video games or games in general.

    Consider that it would be a perfectly reasonable for a respondent to answer based on general games assuming that you would later limit your questions to video games as a means of comparing general games w/ video games.

    That error could be fatal as you'll have people responding based on how they play chess, Scrabble, and Dungeons and Dragons rather than just video games. Depending on your present number of respondents and other requirements, I would strongly consider pulling the instrument and rewriting it if I were in your shoes. Which I know is a total chore and not something you want to do. Did your thesis advisor review the survey before it went live?
    --

    Are you considering Putnam's theory of social capitial? Seems up your alley.

    Why did you choose not to collect additional demographic information, like income and marital status?
     
  12. HBY

    HBY Chieftain

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    I know it's an error in my instrument, I'm sorry if I seemed to be suggesting otherwise. It is always an error in the instrument: even if the subjects have an inability to read the instrument has to cope with this. The survey has been reviewed a couple of times, but mostly the Dutch version.

    This problem only exists with the English version. In Dutch the English word 'game' is also used, but in Dutch this is always a video game. Redoing the survey is not an option at this point, but I'm going to compare the Dutch and English survey answers. If testing shows that there's a significant difference in past and present gaming behaviour between people filling out the Dutch survey and the English there's a problem and I will need to thrash at least some of the data. If testing shows there is no (significant) difference I think it's reasonably safe to say that the majority of people filling it out understood it was about video games. But yeah, not happy about this at all.

    About Putnam: I chose to focus more on Bourdieu, since his theory is considered to be the base of the current low and high brow types of culture, although some of his work is a little outdated. I did not choose to collect additional demographic information because I didn't really need this extra information to compare my data to existing research on culture. I think the survey is too long already.
     
  13. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    Interesting survey.

    Regarding the primary school/secondary school questions, I found these hard to answer, because during primary school the games I had access to were predominantly educational games, but this completely changed during the early years of secondary school. So it was kinda hard to combine the two periods into one.
     
  14. HBY

    HBY Chieftain

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    Thank you for filling it out. I decided to put those 2 periods into one question because data-wise it doesn't matter that much. The first draft of my survey was about twice as long as the survey as it is now, so I made some choices to shorten it a little.


    To get back to BvBPL: today I had a sort of emergency meeting with the professor supervising my thesis. In her opinion modifying the first instruction text in the survey itself to really make clear the survey is about VIDEO games wouldn't invalidate the data. Still going to compare the results of the Dutch and English questionnaires though, to make sure they're not different in a significant way. If the statistics say they are different I have a problem, since this difference can only be explained by the survey itself.
     
  15. Muhammed

    Muhammed Warlord

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    Done! Good luck!

    Some good memories came up from my early days of gaming :)
     
  16. HBY

    HBY Chieftain

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    Thank you very much!

    Yesterday I looked up music of the Commander Keen games on youtube *ahem*
     
  17. Earthling

    Earthling Deity

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    Took the survey, good luck with this.

    Parts of it seemed a little repetitive but it still wasn't too long, and all questions had a reasonable range of options to answer.
     

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