You are on page 1of 14

Running head: PRECURSORS OF BYU-I-DO

The Precursors of BYU-I-Do


Mallory Brady, Jenny Cowley, Amber Mecham, & Celeste Riches
Brigham Young University Idaho
Professor J. Kelly McCoy
Spring 2016

PRECURSORS OF BYU-I-DO

2
Abstract

The research found in this study was discovered through an anonymous survey sent by email to
on-campus students at Brigham Young University- Idaho. This study was created to find the
preferential differences in selecting a dating partner between gender and grade levels. The
collected data proved interesting and was similar to what we hypothesized. However, it did not
show high significance. This shows that individuals have a wide variety of dating preferences.

PRECURSORS OF BYU-I-DO

3
The Precursors of BYU-I-Do

At BYU-Idaho a day does not go by without a teacher making remarks about dating and
you can often find conversations about dating throughout campus. There are many sightings on
campus of individuals beings asked out, public displays of affection (PDA), and phone numbers
being exchanged. College students are in the stage of life where socialization is common and
they are making life decisions concerning their future. This study will look at what factors
determine who BYU-Idaho students choose to date. There have been few studies done on college
students and their dating habits.
Literature Review
There is a significant amount of research done on dating as it pertains to physical
attractiveness. Peretti and Abplanalp (2004) found that physical attractiveness was the top
selected variable for males and females when considering a dating partner. This was an
important factor when an individual was deciding if they wanted to further a relationship with
another individual (Peretti & Abplanalp, 2004). Similarities between two people often show the
other attributes in a person more appealing, such as their physical attractiveness (2002).
Menadier (2012) found a relationship between gender and the appearance levels of physical
attractiveness combined with social attractiveness. They found that males were more likely to
date someone who was physically attractive and socially unattractive whereas females were more
likely to date someone who was physically unattractive and socially attractive (2012). However,
the relationship between gender and the categories was not significant at the 0.05 level (2012).
This study tried to prevent the participants from being influenced by certain factors such as race
or ethnicity (2012). This proved to be a challenge as they offered a variety of choices making the
results more broad. Our study will be studying a more specific group of individuals with similar

PRECURSORS OF BYU-I-DO

religious and educational backgrounds. In the Perretti and Abplanalp (2004) study, they found
individuals were more likely to have better communication and conversations if the couple had
similarities, either fully or part, such as, religion, age, socioeconomic status, and education. We
are planning on studying individuals who share the same religion and spiritual values.
Conclusion
From these studies, we have found that physical attractiveness is a primary factor in
deciding who to date along with sharing similarities such as spirituality. We studied gender, year
in school, levels of spirituality, and physical attractiveness. We studied the likelihood of whether
someone accepts or rejects a date. Very little research has been done about how the method of
asking determines if an individual accepts a date.
Hypotheses
The following are the hypotheses we plan to test:

A BYU-I freshman is more likely to ask someone who is physically attractive on a date.

A BYU-I female is more likely to accept a date when she is asked on a date in person.

A BYU-I senior is more likely to ask someone who is more spiritual on a date.
Methods

Sample
Our general population of interest is the on-campus students at BYU-Idaho. The make-up
of our sample will equally represent the students that attend BYU-Idaho here in Rexburg. Within
our study we researched the differences between males and females, making sure that they were
appropriately represented in our sample. When we submitted our sampling request to the IRB,
we asked for an equal amount of students in each grade level and we asked for an equal amount
of males and females in each grade (freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior). Through the IRB,

PRECURSORS OF BYU-I-DO

we used a stratified sampling method to choose our sample so that each category is fairly
represented based off of the known distribution of characteristics within the on campus students
at BYU-Idaho. Our sample population accurately represented the larger population because it is
an unbiased sample that equally represented the population. 108 students participated in our
survey; 49 were male and 59 were female. As a whole, these were the distributions among the
grade levels: 28 freshman, 27 sophomores, 32 juniors, 21 seniors.
Procedure
Our research was first reviewed and approved by the IRB. After it was approved Dr.
Sidney Palmer gave us our random sample. To obtain information from our sample, we sent out
an email invitation to 300 students that included a link to our survey we created on Qualtrics
(See Appendix A for more information about the survey conducted). Qualtrics is a software
company used to create online surveys. The email invitation stated that we were conducting a
research project for our research methods class. Their participation would remain anonymous
and that they could refuse to participate and withdraw at any time. The email also explained that
the research is being done to determine the dating culture here at BYU-Idaho. We informed them
the survey was only seven questions and would take approximately 2-3 minutes to fill out. We
explained that there were no known risks or benefits for participants in this study and if they had
any questions they could contact Jenny Cowley at cow11005@byui.edu. If they had any
questions regarding their rights as a participant in the research project they could contact Dr.
Sidney Palmer, IRB chair at palmers@byui.edu.
Measurement
Our survey was created to measure different interests of students towards dating. Before
we sent our survey to the list of 300 students, we had seven individuals check our survey for any

PRECURSORS OF BYU-I-DO

issues or confusions to strengthen face validity. We measured our data in the survey by providing
questions for the students to answers about their different views and preferences in dating. When
asking about the characteristics of potential dating partners we used a rank ordering scale. We
did a Likert scale to determine students preference on accepting a date through texting, phone
call, and in person. We also did a Likert scale to find out how individuals find people to date. We
used the data to see how gender and/or year in school affected preferences in dating. Once our
data was collected, we were able to determine the differences between males and females and
regarding who they choose to date, along with the differences between grade levels.
Results
Our first hypothesis stated, A BYU-I freshman is more likely to ask someone who is
physically attractive on a date. Our data showed that freshman were more likely than students in
other grades to find physical attractiveness important. However, it was not significant because
there was an all exclusive p value of .256 for all grade levels (See Table 1.3). Our second
hypothesis was, A BYU-I female is more likely to accept a date when she is asked on a date in
person. Overall, we found that students will go on a date no matter how they are asked. The
data shows that students are more likely to go on a date if they are asked in person than if they
were asked via phone call or text (Refer to Table 1.1). Finally, the third hypothesis was A BYUI senior is more likely to ask someone who is more spiritual on a date. We found that
sophomores were more likely to desire spirituality as a higher attribute in a dating partner when
compared to those in other grades. This data is approaching significance because the p value was
.085 (See Table 1.2).

PRECURSORS OF BYU-I-DO

Table 1.1

Table 1.2
When considering different potential dating partners, which of the following characteristics is m...Spirituality
Student-Newman-Keuls

a,b

Subset for alpha = 0.05


What year are you in school?

Freshman

28

3.2500

Senior

21

3.5238

Junior

32

3.5625

Sophomore

27

4.1481

Sig.

.085

Means for groups in homogeneous subsets are displayed.


a. Uses Harmonic Mean Sample Size = 26.382.

PRECURSORS OF BYU-I-DO

b. The group sizes are unequal. The harmonic mean of the group sizes is used. Type I error levels are not
guaranteed.

Table 1.3
When considering different potential dating partners, which of the following characteristics is m...-Physical
Attractiveness
Student-Newman-Keuls

a,b

Subset for alpha = 0.05


What year are you in school?

Sophomore

27

2.8519

Junior

32

3.0313

Senior

21

3.0476

Freshman

28

3.5000

Sig.

.256

Means for groups in homogeneous subsets are displayed.


a. Uses Harmonic Mean Sample Size = 26.382.
b. The group sizes are unequal. The harmonic mean of the group sizes is used. Type I error levels are not
guaranteed.

Discussion
It was interesting to see what was important to the different stages of life. We found that
there was not significant enough to say that one characteristic was more important than another.
We think that this is so because each individual is different in what they prefer in someone.
When it comes to how someone is asked out on a date, our data showed that someone is willing
to accept a date whether they are asked through texting, a phone call, or in person. However,
they are much more willing to accept a date if they are asked in person. This was an interesting
finding because texting has become such a common occurrence among college students that even
though it was still acceptable, students prefer being asked in person. Here at BYU - Idaho the

PRECURSORS OF BYU-I-DO

majority of the student body is religious and so we assumed that spirituality would be one of the
highest ranked characteristic. Although it was ranked very high across students in all grades, it
was only approaching significance among sophomore students.
Limitations
Looking back on our study, we have determined a few limitations that may have affected
the results of our study. The largest limitation we feel we encountered was the type of school we
did our study at. Brigham Young University-Idaho is a private college that is affiliated with The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Because of this, our sample group cannot represent
the larger population of college students with adequate diversity among the students, such as;
religion, ethnicity, and interests. When we sent our survey to the 300 students at Brigham Young
University-Idaho, there were many other surveys being conducted across the different research
classes on campus. We also found the survey method limiting because we were not able to
expound on the questions that were asked.
Directions for future research. Further research on this topic could be done through
interviewing students instead of a questionnaire. This would help us clarify questions by
allowing the students to expound on their answers and ask questions if needed. Within this
interview process we would want to do more research on why sophomores are more likely to
desire spirituality than any other attributes for a dating partner. We also think it would be
beneficial to look not only at BYU - Idaho students, but compare these findings with other
colleges or universities.
Conclusion
We feel that our sample represents the larger population of Brigham Young University Idaho, but probably could not be generalized to other college students around the country. We

PRECURSORS OF BYU-I-DO
found it interesting that although most students use texting as their primary form of
communication they still preferred to be asked out on a date face to face. Although there are
many factors that lead to going on a date, our findings suggest a few ideas to enhance the
understanding of the dating culture and make your dreams come true at BYU-I-Do.

10

PRECURSORS OF BYU-I-DO

11
References

Correlates of minimal dating. (2006). Journal of Social Psychology, 146(5), 549-567.


Menadier, V. H. (2012). How personality and physical attraction lead to possible dating: A
reflection. Journal of Multidisciplinary Research (1947-2900), 4(2), 111-119.
Peretti, P. O., & Abplanalp Jr, R. R. (2004). Chemistry in the college dating process: Structure
and function. Social Behavior & Personality: An International Journal, 32(2), 147-154.

PRECURSORS OF BYU-I-DO

12
Appendix A

Qualtrics Survey:
We are conducting a research project for our Research Methods class. All participants will
remain anonymous and you can refuse to participate or withdraw at any time. The research we
are doing is to determine the dating culture at BYU-Idaho. The survey has seven questions and
will take approximately 2-3 minutes to fill out. There are no known risks or benefits for
participants in this study. If you have any questions you can contact Jenny Cowley at
cow11005@byui.edu. If you have any questions regarding your rights as a participant in this
research project, you can contact Dr. Sidney Palmer, IRB chair at palmers@byui.edu.

1 What is your gender?


Male (1)
Female (2)

2 What year are you in school?

Freshman (1)
Sophomore (2)
Junior (3)
Senior (4)

3 What is your current relationship status?

Single (1)
In a Relationship (2)
Engaged (3)
Married (4)
Other: (5) ____________________

PRECURSORS OF BYU-I-DO

13

4 What college are you a part of at BYU-Idaho?

Agriculture and Life Sciences (1)


Business and Communication (2)
Education and Human Development (3)
Language and Letters (4)
Physical Sciences and Engineering (5)
Performing and Visual Arts (6)
University Studies or Interdisciplinary Studies (7)
Undeclared (8)
Other: (9) ____________________

5 When considering different potential dating partners, which of the following characteristics is
most important in your consideration of them? Rank the following characteristics from 1-5 in
order of your preference (1 being the highest and 5 being the lowest)
______ Physical Attractiveness (1)
______ Shared Interests (2)
______ Spirituality (3)
______ Humor (4)
______ Outgoing (5)

6 How likely would you be to accept a date when asked out using each of these different
methods of contact?
Not at all likely (1)

Somewhat likely (2)

Very likely (3)

Texting (1)

Phone Call (2)

In Person (3)

PRECURSORS OF BYU-I-DO

14

7 Where are you most likely to find people to date?


Very unlikely (1)

At church (1)

Slightly likely (2)

Somewhat likely (3)

Very likely (4)

Library (5)

Gym (6)

Family home
evening group
(2)
Classes (3)
Crossroads in the
MC (4)

People you met


on mission (7)
Mutual friends
(8)
Other: (9)