Dr. Wilson's Theory Of Drinking In College

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Dr. Wilson’s research on students who are drinking in college led him to his theory that people drink because they are rewarded by their peers. This is an example of the theoretical perspective of functionalism better defined as looking at human thought and behavior as why. Baird’s definition for functionalism is “a school of psychology focused on how organisms use their learning and perceptual abilities to function in their environment” (6). In Dr. Wilson’s case, he is looking at why college students drink. His theory is trying to explain why college students feel the need to drink. Functionalism is all about analyzing behavior as what do you get out of it, what is its purpose, and why you are doing it. Dr. Wilson is saying that students received …show more content…
Since the self-report method requires questionnaires and surveys, it may be difficult for those who do decide to partake in alcohol to provide accurate and helpful responses. There are, however, some ethical issues involved in the study. Since the legal drinking age is 21, putting those under the legal drinking age in an area and environment where they are able to partake in alcohol use may be seen as unethical and unlawful. In order to fully test Dr. Wilson’s theory under the general term of “college students” it is absolutely irrefutably important to include college students of all ages to get the best results if Dr. Wilson would like to continue to use the general term “college student.” Dr. Wilson may check or assure validity and reliability in his experiment by comparing what he receives from the researchers list of observations and working with the confederates to get their observations as well. I think it is very important to include the confederates’ observations because they are even more up close to the participants and can offer another insight to the subject. Since Dr. Wilson has multiple groups testing the same experiment, he can compare data from both test groups to see if there are any connections. For example, I labeled the test groups A through F earlier in the study. Test groups A, C, and E had …show more content…
Wilson’s theory that college students drink because they are rewarded by their peers follows the theoretical perspective of functionalism defined as looking at human behavior and thought as why. I believe his theory would follow closely to cognitive psychology as it looks at what people were thinking at the time they did something. Dr. Wilson’s theory could be tested with the research question “Do college students drink because of the environment they are in where they are rewarded by their peers?” Participants from ages eighteen to twenty-three would be split into six test groups labeled A, B, C, D, E, and F with two confederates in each group. The variable will be age and gender, while the confederates serve independent variables. Test groups A, C, and E will have confederates agreeing to drink while the remaining three groups will have confederates who refuse to drink to test if more people drink when the environment and people around them do. The number of those who do drink will serve as a dependent variable that can be measured. Data will be collected by naturalistic observation and confederates responses. In order to answer if the college students drink because they are rewarded by their peers, confederates and observers will need to play extremely close attention to what is going on around them in the environment at the time. The underage adults partaking in alcohol with pose a morale and legal threat, but in order to test the theory “college students” I believe

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