Project 9- Week 16

Rise to your Ability – The Scavenger Hunt

imageshhhAs I look back to the beginning of my research I started to reminiscing on the pass and why I decided to do this experiment.I remember when I use to walk around and see homeless people and I felt very sorry for them. I wonder how they became that way and why can’t they find a job. I would also find myself helping them by buying then food or give them money. But those things are just for a moment. They need something that will help them for the rest of their lives. I decided to do my experiment on homeless people so that I can help them better themselves. To do this I decided to make my game in a way to teach homeless people skills to improve their living skills. Therefore if they use these same exact skills they might be able to find a good job base on those skills or just to help better themselves.

As I look into my research I learned that there three groups of homelessness which are new entry, chronic and episodic. I will focus my search on homeless people that lives in a shelter and I will observe them by the level of homelessness that they are in. I made two groups, the control group which are the people that would not be playing the game and the experimental group which are the people that will be playing the game. All together I intended to have 12 subjects in the experimental group. They were recruited in a shelter by taking a 2 question survey. One question was asked if they would like to participate in the study and the next question is how long they were homeless for. This was just a way of getting their consent so I can use them to do my experiment.

In addition, the age group I choose is from 18 to 30 years old. There gender, race or ethnicity does not matter in this study. Subjects were assigned to their conditions based on their type of homelessness which are new entry, chronic and episodic. I am hoping to get 4 subjects in each type of homelessness. The subjects demographics were determine on the amount of time they was homeless for. For the game each subject was asked to perform a task which would develop or enhance a skill that can help them find a job or help better themselves. I explain things to the subjects by reading them, basic instructions on how to play the game.

The learning objective of this game is to teach homeless people that live in shelter different skills that can be useful for a particular type of job or to help improve their abilities. The goal of this game is to help homeless people find a job base on the skills they preform best. Also to help them find places around the area that can benefit them. The primary objective of this game is to allow the homeless players to broaden their skills so that they can find a job based on the skill they are really good at. They can also use those skills to make their life better. The game objective reinforces the learning objective because both are trying to achieve the same purpose.

I came up with it thesis. My thesis states that, “Homeless people that are motivated by some type of reward would show better determination to better themselves”. My results support my thesis because the people that played my game were motivated by the prize that I plan to give to the person that wins the game. Therefore it shows that people would do whatever it takes in order to win. They want to be on top so they can receive that reward that can benefit them. The reward is what determined there behavior and how well they performed each task. If there were no reward then it’s proven that they would not put so much effort into completing each task well.

There are a few rules to this game. Number one, each player is not allowed to move on to another task without completing the task before it. Number two, no cheating. When caught cheating the player will have to wait 5 minutes before continuing the task. This complements the game and the learning objective because it gives everyone the opportunity to develop the skills intended. Throughout the game players are given the opportunity to collect fake money from each task completed. Each card has a certain amount of money that will be awarded. The resources can be spent by collecting the fake money from each task to trade it in for something they may need to help their homelessness. The fake money is what governs the exchange of resources.

My experiment solves a major problem in psychology because there are studies that talks down on homeless people. They believe that homeless people decline in behavior rather than incline. They believe that once a person becomes homeless then, they learn to depend on people for survival rather than themselves. But by this experiment it shows that just like everyone else homeless people are motivated by something. To perfect a skill there must be some type of reward place to motive someone to do something. For example, people would not work if they were not getting paid. They are motivated to work because of the money that they are getting rewarded. Solving this problem can further advance the field because people will start to reach out for homeless people. Also homeless people will also try to reach out to other homeless people as well. When one homeless person makes it out of homelessness, they might come back to try to help others out of homelessness. Also people love to observe others. If they see one person making a better living for themselves then they will build more hope to one day better themselves as well.

My work is mostly different to other works in this field because when I did my research before designing this experiment it was hard to find good things that come out of a person that is homeless. A lot of the studies were negative. For my study a potential problem may be to get homeless people to sign up for my game. Getting a person from the category of homelessness of new entry and episodic will be easy to get. But chronic homelessness would be much harder because they been homeless for so long that they already lost hope for a better future. Also if the subjects don’t know the area they live in that can be another problem.

An implication of my study will be that the homeless people would not take the game serious enough. Another implication would be that the task that was given onto them may not develop the skill that’s intended. I tested this game on my friends and it turned out great. But my friends doesn’t have the issue that homeless people has. Therefore the results may not be the same as the results that my friends earned. By this, it can cause a lot of issue with my experiment because the point of my experiment is to help homeless people develop skills that can help them out of homelessness or help better themselves. I hope that this experiment works efficiently.


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About Robert O. Duncan

I'm an Assistant Professor of Behavioral Sciences at City University of New York, with joint appointments in Neuroscience and Cognitive Neuroscience. I also have an appointment as a Visiting Scholar at New York University. My research interests include cognitive neuroscience, functional magnetic resonance imaging, glaucoma, neurodegenerative disorders, attention, learning, memory, educational technology, pedagogy, and developing games for education.

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