And how'd that happen?
When I say I've been "mostly" working on my data, what I really mean is that I have been really struggling to get my "quota" done, every single day. I didn't even shower over the weekend (sorry, TMI, but there it is.) It's a bit discouraging, as every morning I enthusiastically think that I will not only get my 10 surveys scored but also one or two of the other five dozen things I need to get done over the summer... and then by sunset each day I'm still just desperately trying to crank out the last of the ten surveys. I have a lot of additional unrelated things I really have to also get done before the baby comes (including preparations for applying for internships yet a-freakin'-gain.)
So basically I'm back to grad-school mode in which everything else in my life has to drop by the wayside as I try to get the work done (surveys scored and entered). This is so I can start doing the analyses and write at least a draft of my results section before the baby comes and changes everything.
Oddly, this feeling of intense continuous pressure always makes me blog more. This is partly because I spend more time in the house near the computer, and partly because I just feel more stressed and need some kind of outlet. (For complaining no doubt.)
Since a big part of the thesis of my research regards how individuals' ages and the time they've spent in college affects their level of prejudice, I am going to scream (more) if I continue to encounter primarily surveys filled out by 18-year-old freshpersons who've been in school exactly two weeks. I think they comprise 98% of the surveys I've scored so far; no exaggeration.
This is okay for the process of getting my actual dissertation done, as far as that goes, since one has only to show correct form in research and not necessarily results. However, as far as furthering the field of prejudice research, this is nearly useless and I am frankly surprised to see even the few significant correlations that are appearing so far.
An analogy would be that it's like trying to examine the coping mechanisms of people using prosthetic limbs solely in a population of professional athletes. Sure, if you get enough respondents, there will be a couple of people that may show the characteristics you're looking for, but you're sure looking at an awfully skewed sample.
I didn't realize that all the classes taught by my colleagues last fall included nothing but brand-new first-years. I really hope as I get further into the pile, I will encounter some groups of classes that include more people from other years. But I've done 70 out of 330, so that's considerable already.
The other thing that's annoying about this is that the very young can be so damned prejudiced and dichotomous in their thinking, due to their developmental stage. ("I'm right, everyone else is wrong," variety of self-righteousness.)
So I end up seeing page after page (these are loooong surveys even though they're mostly multiple-choice) of people selecting answers resembling the following: "African-Americans are lower in intelligence than other races: AGREE;" "Two women are jogging in sports bras and shorts and two men appear and rape them. The women provoked the rape: AGREE;" "AIDS came into being to punish the homosexual lifestyle: AGREE;" "Asian-American business owners are greedy: AGREE;" and even (you won't believe this) "Hitler had some justification in persecuting the Jews" AGREE." !!!
--and then on the final page, where they get to write in what has influenced their perspectives on cultural diversity, they write things like "I am very open-minded and have learned not to judge others by their race" and so forth. In fact it may be one of my findings that the higher the prejudice scores, the more likely they are to write about how open-minded they are.
Prejudiced and hypocritical little jerks. It's quite depressing and exhausting to have my face rubbed in this for hours every single day and to think that society is even worse than I imagined. It's making me prejudiced against undergrads!
So anyway. I hope that I get into some more older students soon, and I hope that I see what I predicted: they've dropped in prejudice as they've been in school.