2006 Student Research Conference:
19th Annual Student Research Conference

Social Science

The Effects of Experimenter Familiarity and Gender on Preschool Students’ Problem Solving Performance
Benjamin A. Kort♦* and Paul R. Scruggs
Dr. Sherri A. Palmer, Faculty Mentor

Past studies in the area of researcher familiarity and gender in relation to interactions with children has been limited in its scope. The present study examined the reactions of 19 preschool students to either familiar or unfamiliar male or female experimenters in a problem solving task (doing a puzzle). The participants completed the task in the presence of one of four conditions: 1) familiar male 2) unfamiliar male 3) familiar female 4) unfamiliar female. Their time on task and prosocial behaviors were coded and analyzed. Four separate one-way ANOVAs were run, using gender and familiarity as independent variables, and task persistence and prosocial behavior as dependent variables. Only familiarity and prosocial behavior were found to be significant (F(33) = 6.011, p = .02). These findings suggest that future researchers who work with children should become familiar to the children in order to elicit greater prosocial responses.

Keywords: Gender, Familiarity, Preschool, Performance, Experimenter

Topic(s):Psychology

Presentation Type: Poster

Session: 60-74
Location: OP Lobby and Atrium
Time: 4:15

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* Indicates the Student Presenter
♦ Indicates Truman Graduate Student
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