Identity Formation Essay

Identity formation is a universal term for young girls and boys who are trying to create themselves once they have that self awareness concept. There are many experiments that show media, peer pressure, and environmental factors contribute towards alternating a person’s identity. Natural observation and the longitudinal study can show the changes that form when a person encounters a social environmental factor that can alter their own identity which; it could be through friends, pressure to fit in, or celebrity envy.

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Two research methods that would prove to show that media, peer pressure, and social environmental factors do influence identity formation would be studying a participant over a long period time and studying a person in a natural setting with out them knowing. For example doing a longitudinal study on a participant will show the influences of different factors that will have on a certain participant through out their development. Doing this kind of research method will show the progress of changes in that participant’s life and will show the researcher the affect it has on her or his identity development.

For example a young girl who always watches celebrities through out her childhood and into her teen years will show an affect on her identity rather then someone who is taught on real life and how people are suppose to look like or act. “Adolescents who watched music videos were more likely to recognize and relate to the socially competent behaviors demonstrated in the music videos than to the negative images or entertainment only value of the video (Te’Neil Lloyd 2000). ” Using a natural setting can show researchers if participants act differently in real life after watching certain movies or shows.

Without the participant knowing they are being studied they will show a natural behavior and most likely send out a false identity after being exposed to those social media factors. The downside about using these two research methods can be both participants can drop out anytime they want. Such as using the longitudinal study the young participant can drop out of the study anytime of his/her life. To make sure this study is ethical is to have a parent’s permission for their child to participate in this study over their entire development span.

For the natural setting observation study the researchers cannot talk to whoever they are observing which can lead to involvement towards the study and interrupting the natural behavior. To make sure this type of research study is ethical is to not use names and make sure other people cannot find these participants in their community. Or they can tell their participants that they want to observe them, but not tell them when and do the observation randomly. Overall identity formation can be manipulated at anytime in the child’s development stages; media, magazines, and their own peer group can change how they view themselves.

Using a natural setting for observation, and longitudinal study can show researchers that social factors and environmental factors can influence identity formation. Overall social media, celebrity shows, and environmental factors have a heavy impact on our lives each day. Many young girls and boys try to find their own medium with all these barriers to overcome with trying to fit in at school or watching TV shows that show unrealistic behaviors and appearances for the real world. “Teenaged adolescents watch more movies than any other segment of the population.

More than 4 million adolescent girls monthly purchase magazines such as Seventeen and Sassy (Evans et aL, 1991), and three-fourths of white females aged 12-14 read at least one magazine regularly (Klein et al. , 1993). Add to this videos, books, and newspapers, and the total amounts to a significant part of the daily experience of adolescents (Jensen Arnett 1995). ” This fact shows many girls and boys are exposed to a lot of media, gossip magazines and movies that many people envy for their life and identity to be like.

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