Qualities of a good researcher as told through Mean Girls gifs.
What is research?
In its simplest form, research means ‘to search for’ or ‘to find’ (Berger, 2014). We do it everyday, from finding a particular BuzzFeed article, to ‘researching’ the latest movie trailers, and yes, even what Kendall Jenner was wearing to Coachella this year. Hey, today I even conducted an online search for a particular book in the library.
But why do we do it?
Research informs the personal decisions we make on a daily basis, because we always have choices to make. These choices however aren’t always informative; they can be intuitive – like purchasing a new bag on a whim without comparing other stores?
How about scholarly research?
At uni, we don’t do everyday research (unless you count the exploration of lunch options at the cafeteria). Scholarly research is quite different; it’s more systematic, objective, concerned with correctness and truthfulness, and takes into account both qualitative and quantitative data (Berger, 2014).
Scholarly research has a defined research process. Dr Schmertzing from Valdosta State University, introduces the qualities of a good researcher:
They are observant
They formulate hypotheses, find gaps in current research and propose a system of ideas
They analyse data, find correlations and trends,
And eliminate unnecessary data.
They take good notes,
Are not afraid to ask ‘dumb questions’
Are aware of personal bias
And reflect on findings in order to make better conclusions.
So as a researcher, what aspect of the media would I like to research?
A topic of interest came about through the first stage of the research process, observation. I noticed that Facebook and Instagram are less ‘social media’ these days and more ‘sales and sponsorships’.
In what way?
I search for a particular Mink Pink coat once, then BAM my news feed is drowning in sponsored links, suggested posts, and pages my friends have ‘liked’ at some stage in their lifetime – that all happen to be ‘coat’ related.
Intrigued, I clicked on the ad and a few options came up.
So I then clicked on, ‘Why am I seeing this ad?’
They might as well put up a sign that reads, ‘I know what you did last summer,’ because it seems like I’m being watched.
So I want to explore the responses to Facebook advertising, to look into people’s thoughts and behaviours as a result of all the sponsored links, suggested pages, similar pages, pages ‘I might like’ and people you may know.
I want to explore if there’s a response difference between males and females, as well on different devices, and it should be interesting.
But for now, mind your own business Fb, you’re not my Bf.