Title

Evaluating the Perceptions of Psychology and Sociology Majors by University Undergraduates

Presenter Information

Samantha Jackle

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC Ballroom C/D

Start Date

16-5-2013

End Date

16-5-2013

Abstract

The present study was designed to measure undergraduate students’ perceptions of psychology and sociology as majors, as well as their perceptions of science and the significance of social sciences as a whole. Male (n = 85) and female (n = 143) respondents between the ages of 18 and 57 responded to forty-five questions designed to measure their perceptions of psychology and sociology, utilizing a semantic differential scale. Participants were also asked to respond to an additional 47 questions that measured their perceptions of science in general on a Likert scale of 1 to 6 (1 = Strongly disagree, 6 = Strongly agree).While data collection is ongoing, preliminary findings indicate that overall, undergraduates perceive the study of individuals to relate more to psychology (M = 2.16, SD = 1.25), whereas the exploration of how social structures operate relates more to sociology (M = 4.93, SD = 1.10). The majority of respondents agree that science can change over time (M = 5.05, SD = 0.87), as well as that science can be poorly done (M = 5.03, SD = 1.07). Preliminary data also indicates that the majority of respondents do not view disagreements between scientists to be a weakness of science (M = 2.63, SD = 1.29). These data contribute to information regarding undergraduates’ perceptions of different majors, as well as the perceptions they have surrounding the validity and effectiveness of the social sciences.

Poster Number

52

Faculty Mentor(s)

Michael Harrod, Kara Gabriel

Additional Mentoring Department

Sociology

Additional Mentoring Department

Psychology

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May 16th, 2:15 PM May 16th, 4:44 PM

Evaluating the Perceptions of Psychology and Sociology Majors by University Undergraduates

SURC Ballroom C/D

The present study was designed to measure undergraduate students’ perceptions of psychology and sociology as majors, as well as their perceptions of science and the significance of social sciences as a whole. Male (n = 85) and female (n = 143) respondents between the ages of 18 and 57 responded to forty-five questions designed to measure their perceptions of psychology and sociology, utilizing a semantic differential scale. Participants were also asked to respond to an additional 47 questions that measured their perceptions of science in general on a Likert scale of 1 to 6 (1 = Strongly disagree, 6 = Strongly agree).While data collection is ongoing, preliminary findings indicate that overall, undergraduates perceive the study of individuals to relate more to psychology (M = 2.16, SD = 1.25), whereas the exploration of how social structures operate relates more to sociology (M = 4.93, SD = 1.10). The majority of respondents agree that science can change over time (M = 5.05, SD = 0.87), as well as that science can be poorly done (M = 5.03, SD = 1.07). Preliminary data also indicates that the majority of respondents do not view disagreements between scientists to be a weakness of science (M = 2.63, SD = 1.29). These data contribute to information regarding undergraduates’ perceptions of different majors, as well as the perceptions they have surrounding the validity and effectiveness of the social sciences.