Experimenter Effect and the Reports of Jamaican Adolescents on Beauty and Body Image

Book Cover: Experimenter Effect and the Reports of Jamaican Adolescents on Beauty and Body Image

This Publication is not currently in Print or available in Electronic Form. Should there be sufficient interest, we will explore the feasibility of obtaining the necessary permission to make it available in electronic form, either free or at the lowest cost.

Published in Social and Economic Studies Volume 21 No. 4 December 1972.

Experimenter Effect and the Reports of Jamaican Adolescents on Beauty and Body image is an empirical investigation primarily into personal attribute effects that may occur in survey research employing open-ended questionnaire which requires respondents to report on their conception of beauty and of their body cathexis of their body image. In the survey and psychological research, it is virtually impossible to employ interviewers, counsellors, and experimenters who have no personal attributes. The critical question what effect, if any, do their personal attributes have on the responses of subjects to questionnaires, interviews, scales, and tests. In a previous study Body Image Physical Beauty and Colour among Jamaican Adolescent Social and Economic Studies Vol 18, No 1 1969 Pp 72-89 Miller had administered an identical questionnaire personally. Being a male mulatto this study was conducted to probe personal attribute effects.

The design of the study was that of selecting students of one racial type (Black) who attended the same type of school, were of the same age and social class randomly into six groups; select six female experimenters of similar age, physical attractiveness and forthrightness of personality but on six distinctly different racial types; assign each experimenter to administer the same open-ended question to one of the six groups of students using exact instructions; and to analyze the responses of each group in relation to the experimenter administering the questionnaire. There was one Chinese, one Indian, one Mulatto; one Black with an ‘Afro’ hairstyle; one Black with straightened hairstyle and one White experimenter. The six groups of students ranged in size from 66 to 73 students. The overall sample consisted of 158 boys and 255 girls.

Student responses were analyzed with respect to the quantity and content of responses given to each of the six Experimenters, by boys and by girls,  with respect to their conception of the Handsome Boy; the Beautiful Girls; Satisfaction with their Body Image and Dissatisfaction with their Body Image.

The major findings of this study were the following:

  • The common composite concept of beauty reported in Miller (1969) was confirmed.
  • The common composite concept of beauty was reported to all experimenters. In other words, the physical features of the experimenters did not appear to make any difference to what the adolescents reported with respect to their ideals of physical beauty.
  • There were variations, however, among experimenters in what subjects responded with respect to their assessment of their personal physical features. In other words, experimenter effect appeared in subjects critical assessments of their physical features.

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Body image, physical beauty and colour among Jamaican adolescents

This Publication is not currently in Print or available in Electronic Form. Should there be sufficient interest, we will explore the feasibility of obtaining the necessary permission to make it available in electronic form, either free or at the lowest cost.

Social and Economic Studies: Vol 18 No. 1 1969: Pp 72-89

Body Image, Physical Beauty and Colour among Jamaican Adolescents involved a sample of Jamaican adolescents all of whom had been previously classified by race or shade of skin colour. The racial and colour categories in which adolescents had been classified were Black, Dark, Clear, Fair, White, Indian and Chinese. This mixed sample of adolescents, males and females, were asked to respond to six items on an open-ended Questionnaire. The six items were: Describe your idea of a handsome boy; Describe your idea of the Beautiful Girl.; Are you handsome or beautiful? What do you like about your Body; (Body includes everything – face, hands, feet); What do you dislike about your body? What would you change if it were possible? Miller administered the questionnaire to all adolescents in the sample, who attended different schools.

The responses of students on each Item of the Questionnaire were analyzed in relation to the racial or colour category in which they had been previously placed. The analysis was to determine the following: Did students describe different concepts of physical beauty accordingly to racial or colour category or shared a common concept of beauty irrespective of racial or colour category? What were the physical features that comprised their concepts of beauty, specific or shared? How did these adolescents assess their personal physical features within their conception of physical beauty?

The major findings of this study were that these Jamaican adolescents shared one common conception of beauty that was composite, that is, combined features from different racial groups and colour categories. Further, their common composite concept of beauty served as the benchmark against which they assessed their personal physical features with respect to what they liked, disliked or would change if it were possible.

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Special Education in the Commonwealth Caribbean

First published in Caribbean Journal of Education Volume 12 No 3 1987   Pp 274-282

This paper is a Report on Special Education in the Commonwealth Caribbean. It provides a brief sketch of the antecedents of in the region and looks at the constraining conditions in providing special education. It records the system of classification of special needs that have been employed and identifies the increasing trend within the region of governments becoming involved in special education in the training of teachers in special education and secondly in incorporating special schools in the public system of schooling along with the provision of necessary support services.

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Teacher Education: The Partnership between UWI and Teachers Colleges

The Partnership between the University of the West Indies and Teachers Colleges

Caribbean Journal of Education, Vol 23, Nos 1 and 2, 2001: Pp 73-88.

Teacher Education: The Partnership between the University of the West Indies and Teachers Colleges share similar content to Colleges Training Teachers and the School of Education, UWI. However, it omits the brief historical sketch of the evolution of teacher education in the Commonwealth Caribbean and starts with the creation of the training of secondary school teachers in 1952 in the Department of Education. Its focus is on the School of Education, Mona and the partnership with national colleges in the Western Caribbean, particularly in Jamaica. The 1990s was a turning point in teacher education particularly in the Western Caribbean and this paper updates the dialogue taking place in the closing years of the 20th century and the turn of the 21st century.

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Colleges training teachers and the school of Education, UWI

Book Cover: Colleges training teachers and the school of Education, UWI
Part of the Journal of education & development in the Caribbean series:
  • Colleges training teachers and the school of Education, UWI

In Journal of Education and Development in the Caribbean Vol 1. No. 1 1997: Pp 61-82

Colleges Training Teachers and the School of Education, UWI sketches:

  • the history of the establishment of colleges training elementary school teachers in the 1830s;
  • the establishment of UWI's Department of Education in 1952 training secondary school teachers;
  • the creation of Ministries of Education and Boards of Teacher Training across the region starting in 1953; and
  • the devolution of the certification of teachers by Ministries of Education, except for Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago, to the Institute of Education, UWI in 1965.

The paper then describes the major changes in Tertiary Education as these relate to the evolution of national colleges and the emergence of the University of Technology in Jamaica, the College of Bahamas and the University College of Belize in the 1990s. It then outlines the seven types of arrangement that had developed between national colleges and the regional University of the West Indies and these types of arrangements as they existed in the Faculty of Education in the Western Caribbean. The paper highlights the need for rationalization and synchronization of these relationships and suggested a framework within which this could be done.

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