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Independent Research -Mentor

  1. Jun 26, 2012 #1
    I'm a high school student and I recently thought of a really cool study on behavior towards people dressed in different clothes - there's a little more to it than that but I don't know if you need that for this question. Anyway since I'm in high school I've never researched or done a project like this before and I was wondering where I could get a mentor or someone to look over the project with me. Also do you think it might be a little to presumptuous to want to do this project and want to publish the results?
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 27, 2012 #2


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    There is a lot of research that has been and is being done in that field. Like all research your project needs to begin with a literature review so that you understand what's been done and what you are doing that is unique. Of course, don't let any of that discourage you. Being in high school there is value in doing an experiment even if it's been done before.

    You may want to try emailing some professors at a local community college in the sociology department and tell them that you have an idea and you're looking for a mentor.
  4. Jun 27, 2012 #3
    Thank you very much! I understood to some decree when I decided to do this that its probably already been done before. However I felt like it would be a fun experiment to try out; just to see the results. Thank you again for your answer - I wasn't sure what department I should look into when looking for a professor - and advice.
  5. Jun 27, 2012 #4


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    Staff: Mentor

    It's great that you have such a strong interest in science already in high school. Good for you.

    Here is a great place for you to publish your research:


    It's the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF). It's kind of the pinnacle of Science Fairs. Check out the info, and see if there are any resources in your area that you can utilize. Perhaps it is also a good way to find a mentor -- they should give you some tips about that at the ISEF website.
  6. Jun 27, 2012 #5
    Are there any sociology/anthropology/psychology elective classes at your high school? If so, you might ask a teacher from one of those classes. Or, as Choppy says, a community college professor might be willing to mentor you.

    If you want to publish, yeah, you'd need to do a literature review, but I really wouldn't expect to discover anything worth publishing in a first experiment as a high school student. Even grad students and PhDs struggle to get published sometimes, so unless you can find a magazine/journal/website geared towards high school or student research I'd say don't get your hopes up too high. If you just want to do a study for fun, that might not be necessary, although it might help you think about how to design the experiment. Be sure also to check into ethical guidelines for human studies--informed consent on the behalf of the participants, etc.

    It's great that you're thinking about research! Best of luck!
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