AUC students contribute to data collection for academic paper

9 October 2017

AUC lecturer Dr. Eddy de Bruyn recently published a research article titled “Pathways to Consensual Popularity and Mating Opportunities in Ontogenetic Perspective” in the journal Human Ethology Bulletin. For this article, AUC students in the course Developmental Psychology assisted in collecting the data on which the paper is based.

Examining pathways to popularity

The research article compares the behavioural patterns of antisocial and prosocial types of individuals from pre-adolescence through late adolescence and their effect on what is called “consensual popularity.” Consensual popular adolescents are defined by the authors as those with influence, power and prestige relative to their peers.

The paper further goes on to make a division in consensual popular adolescents: those who are “populistic” and those who are “social populars”. Although the two types display different characteristics, both of these types, the authors find, are more likely to be actively dating than boys and girls who were considered unpopular.

AUC students assist in data collection

To reach these conclusions, students from AUC assisted in gathering data from participants from two schools in the Netherlands: a primary and secondary school. The AUC students helped administer questionnaires to over 400 students in these different schools, one classroom at a time. The data collected was subsequently analysed using a series of statistical techniques, including ANOVAS and stepwise regressions.

From the classroom to fieldwork

The data collection was done as part of the course Developmental Psychology. A 200-level course, topics covered include: study of development, nature/nurture and evolution, and prenatal, infancy, early childhood, middle childhood and adolescent development. The course is part of the wider theme Information, Communication and Cognition, and part of the Cognition track. The assignment is exemplary of how experiential learning is incorporated into the AUC curriculum. 

Published by  Amsterdam University College