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Research Into Mormons


mrskatmus

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Hi guys,

I'm a final year undergad, and as part of my course, I have to write a dissertation. My topic of choice is you guys! Or more specifically, the American portion of the LDS church. If you feel able to, I would really appreciate it if you could fill out the questionnaire.

http://nclpsych.eu.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_3OC0YTef26Ua5TL

If you have any questions, feel free to drop me a line here or on the email I provide at the start of the questionnaire

God Bless,

Kat.

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My only issue with the survey was wondering how defining the words at the end could really show intelligence, especially since it would be so extremely easy to look up each definition online while you were taking the survey.

Is there a control for that?

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Interesting dissertation choice. What led you to want to study this particular thing?

I have some comments about the questions in your survey. Hope you don't mind.

The question "How many years have you spent in education?" would be better phrased "How many years of education do you have?" or "How many years of schooling do you have?" The current phrasing suggests a career in the education field (i.e. a teacher). And with Kindergarten through to Senior year of High School this is only 13 years, not 14.

The multiple-choice question "What is the highest level of education you have completed so far?" lacks one important possibility: "Associate" Between High School and Bachelors in the US there is an intermediate level called an Associate degree, which generally requires 2 years of study. Many people in the US have one (I have two). I marked this in my case as "Trade/technical/vocational training", but there are 2-year vocational programs that don't grant an Associates degree,. The difference is that 2-year degrees contain requirements for general education that strictly vocational courses do not, and don't have the same prestige.

I didn't know how to answer the question "How many children did/do you intend to have throughout your life?" This is because I didn't have any "plans" for how many to have. I figured they would just happen and at some point my wife and I would decide we had enough. I said "3" because I think I would have thought 2 were too few, and could have been happy with just 3. In the event we had many more, but "planning" was not the word I would have used to describe how we got there. It was more like "exploring". I don't think there's a way to incorporate such in your survey, so the question is probably OK. I just had to comment on it.

In the word association/definition section you have the word "EMANATE", but none of the choices reflect this word. I think the word you intended was "EMINENT", which is closest to "prominent" in your list. "Emanate" means to "flow out of". And I am wondering just how well you think knowing the meaning of semi-obscure words reflects intelligence. I know some pretty intelligent people whose verbal skills are not so hot, such as those folks who are into mathematics pretty heavily. Two of my grandchildren had full-ride scholarships to study maths at University (one had a double major in physics and maths), and both graduated with honors; additionally, both are enrolled with full-ride scholarships to study mathematics post-graduate at some pretty prestidious schools (one at Purdue, for example). This suggests a decent amount of intelligence, but I don't think either one could get half those word definition questions correct without looking them up.

Edited by Stargazer
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Interesting dissertation choice. What led you to want to study this particular thing?

I have some comments about the questions in your survey. Hope you don't mind.

And with Kindergarten through to Senior year of High School this is only 13 years, not 14.

Thank you! I thought i was losing my mind trying to figure out how k-senior year was 14 years.

In the word association/definition section you have the word "EMANATE", but none of the choices reflect this word.

Another giant Thank You for helping me to know i'm not crazy! This one also threw me for a loop.

I thought your other concerns of the survey were very valid as well. :good:

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I just read the link provided above and note that the main purpose of the questionnaire is to determine psychological factors influencing the size of LDS families...

From this I'm assuming you are still under the impression that LDS families are particularly large... this may have been true 15 - 20 years ago, but I don't see that today LDS families are any larger than any other "group's." LDS typically have 1 - 4 children today, whereas years ago 5 - 8 was common. Of course some families do have 4+ children but that is not generally the "norm." Numerous factors may be at play but mainly it is the economy with the cost of raising and educating a family foremost. This is why today more LDS women seek to work outside the home, whereas 15-20 years ago this was not generally the case. Our leaders still encourage mothers to stay at home if possible, but the reality of economic factors are influencing decisions couples make regarding this.

I've made some general statements here based only on my own observations through the years as a life-long LDS woman of 72 who had a stay-at-home mom, and used to babysit as a teen for LDS families that would be considered "large" today, i.e., I do not have statistics to cite.

Another thing I find interesting is your title: "Research Into Mormons." Your study can be skewed depending on your source material... Are you dealing with official LDS publications, sources, etc., for information... or in your research do you concentrate on what we call "anti" material... or both?

There have been several documentaries on "Mormons" presented on television... most try to have an even-handed approach, but even those in some ways have missed the mark. I just find it interesting when non-LDS try and present a picture of LDS.

So here you are... enlisting LDS assistance with your questionnaire on factors influencing size of LDS families, when for the last decade or so the size has been consistent with most non-LDS families. What factors influence non-LDS family size?

from the beach... on a break from the storms... GG

Edited by Garden Girl
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From this I'm assuming you are still under the impression that LDS families are particularly large... this may have been true 15 - 20 years ago, but I don't see that today LDS families are any larger than any other "group's." LDS typically have 1 - 4 children today, whereas years ago 5 - 8 was common. Of course some families do have 4+ children but that is not generally the "norm."

I was going to say this too. Very few LDS families I know have more than four children. I am the oldest of four. The "have as many children as possible" stereotype is not encouraged by the Church anymore.

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Hi guys,

I'm a final year undergad, and as part of my course, I have to write a dissertation. My topic of choice is you guys! Or more specifically, the American portion of the LDS church. If you feel able to, I would really appreciate it if you could fill out the questionnaire.

http://nclpsych.eu.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_3OC0YTef26Ua5TL

If you have any questions, feel free to drop me a line here or on the email I provide at the start of the questionnaire

God Bless,

Kat.

Please tell me you don't live in Texas...this sounds all too familiar.
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I was going to say this too. Very few LDS families I know have more than four children. I am the oldest of four. The "have as many children as possible" stereotype is not encouraged by the Church anymore.

I think is just not mentioned. I'll bet if you asked high church leadership, they would encourage large families while telling you it is a private matter.

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I just read the link provided above and note that the main purpose of the questionnaire is to determine psychological factors influencing the size of LDS families...

From this I'm assuming you are still under the impression that LDS families are particularly large... this may have been true 15 - 20 years ago, but I don't see that today LDS families are any larger than any other "group's." LDS typically have 1 - 4 children today, whereas years ago 5 - 8 was common. Of course some families do have 4+ children but that is not generally the "norm." Numerous factors may be at play but mainly it is the economy with the cost of raising and educating a family foremost. This is why today more LDS women seek to work outside the home, whereas 15-20 years ago this was not generally the case. Our leaders still encourage mothers to stay at home if possible, but the reality of economic factors are influencing decisions couples make regarding this.

We were told by Elder Perry in an area bishops'/stake presidencies' meeting in 2010 that the average number of children within the Church where at least one parent served a mission is 3.7, while the average number of children where neither parent served a mission is 1.7 (the U.S. average is 2.3). I found that to be fascinating, especially that non-mission couples would be so far below the national average.

We have four children and wanted more (one or two more), but my wife has a rare blood disorder and she must not have any more. It's interesting, because while we had always pictured ourselves having five or six children, after the fourth, we pictured ourselves being done. We were praying for guidance when my wife was hospitalized for months and nearly died. We say now (jokingly) that God made the answer crystal clear, rather than have us wrestle with discerning the answer (I'm kidding --- we don't believe that God smote my wife in answer. But, it did make the decision very easy).

Her doctors have told us that it's a miracle that we had any children at all, because they usually detect her disorder because women spontaneously abort and cannot have children. It is rare for women to contract the condition later in life.

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Are you supposed to use sound science for dissertations? A survey distributed here cannot necessarily be said to accurately represent US Mormons (only a small portion of whom frequent here, and lots of those here are not members or no longer members).

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Are you supposed to use sound science for dissertations? A survey distributed here cannot necessarily be said to accurately represent US Mormons (only a small portion of whom frequent here, and lots of those here are not members or no longer members).

I doubt (though could be wrong) that it's an actual dissertation, since the student is an undergrad and dissertations are written by graduate students.

It's likely a large research paper as part of a capstone course. I had to write one as a sophmore and as a senior and they are a pain in the rear, but generally the best way to get a student used to writing solid papers in their field of study.

I'm wondering if it's a sociology major, from the use of a poll. I had sociology majors in my sophmore capstone class (it wasn't as specific or grueling as my senior one) and they struggled with polls. Being able to construct a good one is really an art form. I had to sit through a lecture on the subject and had no idea they were truly as tricky to get right as they are.

I was never so happy to be a history major!

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I just read the link provided above and note that the main purpose of the questionnaire is to determine psychological factors influencing the size of LDS families...

From this I'm assuming you are still under the impression that LDS families are particularly large... this may have been true 15 - 20 years ago, but I don't see that today LDS families are any larger than any other "group's." LDS typically have 1 - 4 children today, whereas years ago 5 - 8 was common. Of course some families do have 4+ children but that is not generally the "norm." Numerous factors may be at play but mainly it is the economy with the cost of raising and educating a family foremost. This is why today more LDS women seek to work outside the home, whereas 15-20 years ago this was not generally the case. Our leaders still encourage mothers to stay at home if possible, but the reality of economic factors are influencing decisions couples make regarding this.

I've made some general statements here based only on my own observations through the years as a life-long LDS woman of 72 who had a stay-at-home mom, and used to babysit as a teen for LDS families that would be considered "large" today, i.e., I do not have statistics to cite.

Another thing I find interesting is your title: "Research Into Mormons." Your study can be skewed depending on your source material... Are you dealing with official LDS publications, sources, etc., for information... or in your research do you concentrate on what we call "anti" material... or both?

There have been several documentaries on "Mormons" presented on television... most try to have an even-handed approach, but even those in some ways have missed the mark. I just find it interesting when non-LDS try and present a picture of LDS.

So here you are... enlisting LDS assistance with your questionnaire on factors influencing size of LDS families, when for the last decade or so the size has been consistent with most non-LDS families. What factors influence non-LDS family size?

from the beach... on a break from the storms... GG

The survey ought to discover what you've just said.

The survey seems to concern itself with trying to see if LDS are ignoramuses or just what is the depth of their ignorance. A vocabulary test, however, is not what I would call a particularly good indicator, especially since the survey is specifically directed at US LDS, and the author of the survey is in Britain -- is a British-centric vocabulary test revealing of US knowledge? Or in other words, is the vocabulary portion of the survey invalid for a US audience?

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As a measure of US LDS centric thought it wasn't bad. However demographic and access factors limit its applicability. MDDB just isn't a large enough sample base to be representative of general LDS thought.

I can vouch for that! (general LDS thought). The MDDB really isn't a very good representation of the majority of LDS people I know, since I do live in the MorCor. And that's not a negative against the people on the board, believe me!! Edited by Tacenda
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As a measure of US LDS centric thought it wasn't bad. However demographic and access factors limit its applicability. MDDB just isn't a large enough sample base to be representative of general LDS thought.

I saw this same thing on another website; I don't think this is the only place the person is going to.

With luv,

BD

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My only issue with the survey was wondering how defining the words at the end could really show intelligence, especially since it would be so extremely easy to look up each definition online while you were taking the survey.

Is there a control for that?

Also an interesting reflection on our need to be 'right' as mormons perhaps :) I think guesswork is uncomfortable for us. I nearly looked a word up, then realised, that's not the intention of the survey!

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Are you supposed to use sound science for dissertations? A survey distributed here cannot necessarily be said to accurately represent US Mormons (only a small portion of whom frequent here, and lots of those here are not members or no longer members).

The poor dear made the mistake of posting the survey where all the church academics and researchers hang out :) We were always going to critique the survey. As a full-time market researcher I nearly commented on a couple of questions too.

Maybe we should all do her a favour and paste it over to our FB feeds :)

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Also an interesting reflection on our need to be 'right' as mormons perhaps :) I think guesswork is uncomfortable for us. I nearly looked a word up, then realised, that's not the intention of the survey!

I don't think looking up answers to a survey has anything to do with being mormon. Just like the end of that survey didn't have much to do with how intelligent a person was.

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I can vouch for that! (general LDS thought). The MDDB really isn't a very good representation of the majority of LDS people I know, since I do live in the MorCor. And that's not a negative against the people on the board, believe me!!

At first I read that as "Mordor." Got a laugh out of me.

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At first I read that as "Mordor." Got a laugh out of me.

Oh funny, even though I'm not a big "Lord of the Rings" fan, didn't ever get into the movies nor did I with "Star Wars" or "Star Trek" (scared to admit it though because of all the trekkies here). At first I wondered why it was funny and wanted to say to put your reading glasses on and it sucks to get old. But then I looked up the word. Now that's funny!

Edited by Tacenda
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