Parental permission and Assent and letters (Appendix 1a and 1b) were sent home with the students asking for volunteer participants in a study about attractiveness and body image. The parents and children were told about the exposure to gossip magazines and the potential risks that they posed to their daughters. They were also told that participation was entirely voluntary and that there was neither benefit to join, nor any penalty to drop out or decline. The study was conducted during second period social sciences class. Each participant who had signed their assent form and brought back signed permission forms was allowed into the study. The study was conducted during second period social sciences classes. Each participant was separated into different rooms and was given a packet. All the packets were anonymous with no names collect. The students were instructed to answer honestly and not write their name. To protect against diffusion effects groups A and B were separated to prevent information sharing between participants.
For the purpose of this study the data of interest was the mean score of each group’s attractive ratings for the average looking women. Alpha was set at α = 0.05. The qualitative independent (nominal) variable was weather or not the participants were exposed to gossip magazine articles and the quantitative dependent variable was how highly the participants rated the average looking women’s attractiveness. The only manipulation between the two packets was weather they received the Gossip Magazine packet or the Van Gogh packet. To reduce experimenter bias the study was moderated by teachers and librarians and all of the instructions were typed with an effect at making them as neutral as possible to avoid demand characteristics. The data from the other Likert surveys were only obtained to reduce demand characteristic effects by making the manipulation of the study less obvious. The data was stored at Advanta storage services. On encryption protected and non-networked surveys for the next ten years after which time the data will be erased.
Compensation. Participants were informed that participation in the study was entirely voluntary and that they could terminate their participation at any time without penalty. They were compensated for their participation in the form of class participation credit. Participants were given the option of an alternative class assignment (a worksheet on bullying) that would take the same time. They were also informed that there was no benefit to doing the study instead of the classwork. They were informed there would be no penalty and no benefit and that their teachers had no stake in weather they participated or not. Neither the study nor the worksheet were graded and were strictly for class participation points. The class participation points were ten points and amount to a single days worth.
Group A - the treatment group, was given a packet with cards. Each card showed a before and after...