The purpose of this study was to implement a Critique on a study by Julie Godden on Social Well-Being as part of a requirement for a fourth year Bachelor of Psychology student at CQ University. On review, the study of social well-being also leads to gender-role schema and negative emotions. This survey group consisted of 140 Australian participants from the general community of either gender over the age of 18 years. The survey continued with five sections relating to demographic, masculinity and femininity, anxiety and stress, general anger and path analysis. Towards the end of this paper I explain if this study would be useful for other research in the future and any strengths or weaknesses within the survey.
Keywords: Gender-Role Schema, Negative Emotions, Social Well-being.
Contribution in a Study Examining Social Well-Being.
Social well-being is essentially a sense of association with people inside our society. This is not just about being content or happy, but being actively involved with life and the people within it. As we grow older we learn to be socially engaged, maintaining a sense of well-being and psychologically healthy (Burton, Westen, & Kowalski, 2012). Helliwell and Putnam (2014) propose psychologists have only recently initiated to demonstrate that wellbeing can be measured with the result of reliability, using simple self-rating questions about their social well-being (Helliwell & Putnam, 2014). Research conducted by Keyes (1998) suggests that social attainment and social recognition associate more strongly when individuals have been involved with their communities opposed to those who have never been involved. The association of a person’s gender or social circumstances may also be affected by his or her subjective well-being through a measure of income, wealth, or material possessions that can also lead to negative emotions (Helliwell & Putnam, 2014). Primarily I chose this survey as a personal interest that reflects an individual’s aspiration in life which we all face at some stage. This paper will critically examine and assess the conducted study and explore links between gender-role schema, negative emotions and social well-being. Firstly it will begin by outlining the study details including the format structure and questions proposed in the survey by looking at the links between social well-being. This paper will apply a personal view paying attention to my participation in this survey via comparing the information using other literature to examine the findings. Finally, an assessment on the study’s limitations will be discussed to establish the strengths and weaknesses in the survey.
The survey was directed by Julie Godden as part of her requirements as a fourth year Bachelor of Psychology student at CQ University. Godden (2014) proposes her aim for this research was to investigate the direct and indirect relations between gender-role schema and social well-being reconciled by negative emotional states (Godden, 2014). So in order to prove her hypotheses, proposes that the influence of age, income, education and marital status be used in her study (Godden, 2014). After the survey was ethically approved circulation of the survey was distributed containing a web address by hand and email. The focus group consisted of 140 Australian participants from the general community of either gender over the age of 18 years (Godden, 2014). At the start of Julie’s survey, a brief invitation to participate summaries how long the survey will take to complete, confidentiality and a 24 hour counselling service phone number for any unexpected distress caused (Godden, 2014). Proceeding with the survey required me to click the agree button at the bottom of the invitation, consenting to continue. The survey then consisted of five sections starting off with the collection of demographic data concerning with gender, age 18 to 24 years, 25 to 44 years, 45 to 64years and 64 years plus, highest level of education from primary school to tertiary divided into six sections, marital status from single to widowed divided into six sections and income also divided into six sections. I felt this to be fairly standard information although sharing my level of income since it is less than $20.000 per year seemed embarrassing; however there was an option if you didn’t want to disclose this.
Continuing to section two relates to personal descriptions, assessed by masculinity and femininity. This is done by choosing a response from never or almost never true, usually not true, sometimes but infrequently true, occasionally true, often true, usually true, or always or almost true to the forty characteristics; for example, Loves children, nervous, forceful, emotional, feels superior (Godden, 2014). I feel that this section could have been more refined, considering it was too long as I was getting impatient to get to the next section. Although on the other hand, I can see that mixing it up could produce more accurate answers making the participant think harder. Burton (et al., 2012) says that the socialisation of gender depicts a range of behaviors that are the consequence of being masculine or feminine.
Section three the researcher looks at depression, anxiety and stress measures. Responses to this questionnaire are as follows; did not apply to me at all, applied to me to some degree, a good part of the time, applied to me very much and most of the time to twenty one questions; for example, I find it hard to wind down, I find it difficult to work up the initiative to do things, I felt I was close to panic and I felt scared without any good reason (Godden, 2014). I found it easier to complete this section of questions as they were in sentences and not one worded comparisons. As identified in Gerrig, Zimbardo, Campbell, Cumming, & Wilkes, (2012) if human beings are depressed it is usually a situation in an environment causing the individual to feel unable to succeed and usually less likely to change their behavior for a better outcome.
Section four revolves around multi-dimensional anger asking for responses such as completely undescriptive of me, mostly undescriptive of me, partly undescriptive, partly descriptive of me, mostly descriptive of me and completely descriptive of me to eleven questions; for example, I tend to get angry more frequently than most people, it is easy to make me angry, I often feel angrier than I think I should, at times I feel angry for no specific reason and I get so angry, I feel like I might lose control (Godden, 2014). This section was straight to the point and should show accurate measures at the end of the survey for final results. Multi-dimensional anger, can lead to verbal or physical behaviour transforming into aggression in a short amount of time (Burton et al., 2012).
Lastly, section five continues the survey to social wellbeing by answering the statements with strongly disagree, moderately disagree, barely disagree, barely agree, moderately agree and strongly agree to the fifteen statements; for example, the world is too complex for me, I have something valuable to give to the world, society has stopped making progress, my community is a source of comfort, I have nothing important to contribute to society (Godden, 2014). This section was very interesting as they are heard quite frequently in society by people who are not happy with life. Looking at these statements I indicated with strongly disagree and felt quite confident with that. Burton (et al., 2012) suggests that fluctuations in thought feeling and behavior through bulling alter a person social status in life making them feel not good enough to contribute within society.
The strengths of the study flowed from the ethical guidelines at the start with an informed consent, no incentives, only my choice to participate and be provided with the confidential security of the information provided to the researcher. I felt that this study was perfectly structured for the participant such as me. Although, some sections seem to take forever to complete; so maybe the researcher could refine some of the sections into smaller chunks to make the survey feel as though it is going quick. The researcher has tried to keep the study as simple as possible using basic terms so that a person with no education could supply the information. Some of the information may have been socially sensitive but there was a choice to remain neutral for example; I do not wish to disclose this information. Participation in the survey did take the estimated time that the researcher proposed, which was about 15 minutes to complete. I felt that his survey is suitable for anyone to complete with a busy lifestyle. In conclusion, my participation in the study of social well-being as a psychology student has expanded my understanding and knowledge. I believe to be psychologically healthy is important for a life of quality. Personally, I felt that the survey would be a useful contribution to other research using the correlations of gender-role schema, negative emotions and social well-being. I believe my involvement in this study has been highly valuable to not only my education but my career path, experiencing the theories of psychology.
Burton, L., Westen, D., & Kowalski, R., (2012). Psychology (3rd ed.). Milton, QLD: John
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Godden, J., (2014).Gender-role schema, negative emotions and social well-being. Unpublished Manuscript. Department of Psychology, Central Queensland University, Australia.
Helliwell, J. F., & Putnam, R. D., (2004). The social context of well-being. The Royal Society, 359, doi: 10.1098/rstb.2004.1522, published 29 September 2004 http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/359/1449/1435#related-urls
Keyes, C. L. M., (1998). Social well-being. Social psychology quarterly, 121-140 http://www.langleygroup.com.au/images/Lee–Keyes—2013—Social-Well-Being.pdf
Gerrig, R., Zimbardo, P., Campbell, A., Cumming, S., & Wilkes, F. (2012). Psychology and Life (2nd ed.). Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Australia.