PhD research help??

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N400Effect
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2014 9:27 pm

PhD research help??

Post by N400Effect » Mon Jan 23, 2017 9:45 am

currently applying for a PhD and trying to develop a research proposal- any ideas on how to carry the research for he below would be welcomed!


understanding how we form impressions of individuals is crucial for preventing discrimination. Thinking of the NHS with around 25% of international staff, it is important to understand how these employees are actually perceived by potential (mostly British) patients. It is also especially critical to understand how these processes might change over the life span of different individuals. Previous research has looked separately (or in a pair) at different aspects of person perception, such as labels, accents, appearance, or stereotypes. Indeed, it has been shown that preschool children show a very clear bias for native over foreign accents, especially when it comes to perceived trust and choice of friends. The aim of the proposed project is to systematically investigate how different occupations (i.e., doctor vs. nurse vs. receptionist) are perceived in terms of their competence and warmth based on gender, appearance-ethnicity (White, Black, east Asian, Indian), accent (different UK regional accents as well as the main foreign accents present in UK), and whether they are British or not. The novelty of this project is in combining all of these aspects (labels, appearances, accents, and stereotypes) together in a unique way. For example, hearing a male doctor speaking with a Lancashire accent can be perceived differently if they were previously introduced as non British (i.e., as stereotype-incongruent), and this might further be altered if their appearance indicates different ethnicity (e.g., Indian appearance). Are children likely to perceive this doctor as equally competent and trustworthy as a female white British doctor with a Lancashire accent? The current set of proposed studies aims at significantly advancing our understanding of person perception by providing a comprehensive investigation of how preschool children evaluate unknown individuals based on complex combinations of categories, including gender, occupation, appearance, ethnicity, accent, and nationality. This will allow a better understanding of how these processes develop over time as well as how they might be influenced by a social context (multicultural or not). Additionally, with help of eye tracking measures we will test which of these different combinations are perceived as stereotype-consistent or inconsistent (i.e., expected or unexpected, respectively).

I have serious baby brain at the moment and think of lots of ideas but they don't seem to have a wow factor or end up being too complex!! Thank you all.

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spuddy
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2012 11:27 am

Re: PhD research help??

Post by spuddy » Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:54 pm

WOW! Did you go ahead with this topic? Sounds very interesting! Not sure if you still need these tips but I'll post them anyway:

- How are you going to measure any of this? Was this going to be Qual or Quant?
- When I read Doc Vs Nurses Vs Receptionist, the first thing that came to mind was "youll need more than one person in each of those roles from at least 2 different ethnicities". You cant compare a White Doc to an Indian Nurse to an African Receptionist as they will not allow for equal comparisons, IMO.

I think the simplest way to go about this is figure out which ethnicities are understudied in existing literature. That will form the basis of your rationale as to "why did you choose these populations". I think doing it in the NHS is amazing! Are you currently an NHS employee - the last time I checked (a couple of years ago), you had to have at least an honorary contract with an NHS employer. I am not sure if this applies to staff or patients though - they might be a bit more lenient if you are recruiting staff rather than service users.

Good luck!

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