R research ideas in 1994-95.

This page publishes a few pages I had written in 1994-95. When I wrote them, I was not concerned about witchcraft, at all. The page about trouble-maker witch-beings, introduces those extra concepts.

The next is the statement-of-purpose. These were typed pages, in a document (last-update: Jan.14,1995). I omitted the name of the university, for this internet edition, and deleted a single typo. Otherwise, it is an HTML'ized copy of the original.

Statement of Purpose

The obedience, and to some extent conformity, research lines are rather distressing "attractions" of social/general psychology textbooks. However, it is not clear whether such results could really take place in vacuum. I want to study the context, structure, and course of development/restructuring of dominance/submission, obedience/challenge, majority/minority issues, including
1) Communication of dominance: e.g.: effects of slights, gestures, counterfactual-jokes-of-power-abuse on the receiving (and situationally less able) end.
2) Gossip-research: Gossip/countergossip as person-presentation, impression management under conflict/stress.
3) Challenger-research: The possible course(s) of interaction between:
(i) LP(s): the "Little" (challenging) Person(s).
(ii) PGP(s): the Person(s) with Greater Power over the context/organization(s)/institution(s).
(iii) PUP(s): Person(s)/people (sic) Under Pressure - those who are under the authority of PGP(s), but not necessarily being forced to commit specific acts against the LP(s).

That I have partitioned these research lines into titles does not mean they are irrelevant to one another. However, for the purposes of this paper I will continue with the partitioning and discuss my conception of the latter two in the next two sections.

G) Gossip-Research:

The impression one has on other people appears to have important consequences as to what treatment one gets from them in a wide range of situations. Both gossip (Gp) and countergossip (CGp) are potent personal info/image distribution mechanisms (the latter term is coined to stand for information being distributed to counter the effects of previous (mostly false) gossips about, probably, oneself, and/or to inocculate to newer ones). Countergossip (CGp), although could be in the style of gossip (Gp) itself, would probably be more effective if it were distributing more objective info, by a more identifiable source, and were more confrontational. The effects of Gp's and design of CGp's needs research, however, to answer such questions as:

G.1) What psychological processes help Gp's, and how can they be resisted through CGp?: As a method of public-information-production/distribution-about-persons Gp makes use of several psychological processes, and the so-called cognitive-miser nature of humans. A designer (if that is the best term) of CGp(s) should be able to reverse such effects, or supress them. For example, sleeper effect helps in spreading Gp's (e.g: source-credibility, and source-motivation initial cues might get lost) while complicating design of CGp's (e.g: addressing the spread Gp's explicitly is in danger of becoming counterproductive due to possible introduction of some sleeper(s) by self). So, how do we get rid of sleeper (Gp) effects?

Also, the effects of top-down processing are another potential source of troubles (once schemata are (if) formed (and strengthened) through Gp). As long as people use such processing, Gp's just spread-and-strengthen-and-spread themselves (and add to that people's ability to ."prophesize" about others' behavior). CGp's should be able to dismantle such schemata and promote a more data-driven strategy.

And, what yet other mechanisms help Gp's, how can they be resisted through Cgp's ?

G.2) What's the potential of Gp-as-feedback?: Person(s) are reported to be peculiarly unable to evaluate how others view them (Kenny & DePaulo, 1993); such metaperception being primarily based on self-perception. However, Gp has a combination of powerful qualities (like being explicit yet diffuse) that might make it a potent force, in case it is overheard.

In the process of publicly negotiating the reality about oneself (which is what this is all about) one is likely to develop a powerful self-schema-dimension in positive/negative alignment with Gp. Really? And if so, when positive, when negative?

Also, will the discrepancy between self-perception and metaperception (if Gp is taken as such) generalize to some other dimensions of the self-schema?

G.3) Do successive (FALSE or true) Gp's make a virtual information channel deeper and stronger?: Even if one finds s/he does not care today's irrelevant "information" about self being spread, tomorrow this might make countering real ugly ones harder (letting your(public)self be defined by others ("experts"?)).

C.) Challenger-Research:

Our challenger (LP) is considered a social person, interested in defending ideas and, if available, receiving support. Questions for my suggested research include:

C.P) Those related to PUPs:

C.P.1) How do PUPs relate to the challenger?: One test (related to gossip-research): Do PUPs themselves produce gossips and/or help in spreading nasty ones they hear about the LP (or at the very least accept some which they hear) - more than some control subjects? Or do they take a positive stance, instead?
C.P.2) Do such effects still continue after they are no longer under the pressure of PGP(s)?: If no, is undoing a discrete, or a continuous process?
C.P.3) Would it be more correct to expand the acronym PUPs as people- or persons-under-pressure?: That is, in determining (un/consciously) their behaviors/attitudes against LP(s), is each PUP continuously influenced by others, or would the effects turn out to be the same when the PUPs interact as when they do not?
C.P.4) Can "underground" resistance be produced under experiment situation?: (By those PUPs considering LP(s) rightful and as object-of-respect (rather than object-of-derogation) forming (probably secret) subgroups)) If that could be done efficiently, further research questions are just under way.

C.L.) Those related to LP(s) (or, What's wrong with 'the system'?):

C.L.1) Re/search of abusable laws and rules in various domains; and collecting real-life data to see how people adapt to (or circumvent) them. (See the page titled '((sent to ETS))' to find a simple example for the first part of this.).
C.L.2) In the social psychological research, when the credibility of a source is a variable, it is almost always an IV. I propose for studying the threshold between accepting the statements of an authority (say a Ph.D. insisting on a wrong point) versus (LP's) reacting against such a situation.
C.L.3) And afterwards (or at the time), how will LP react to the PUPs (those acquiscing stooges) of the situation (say, will s/he rate them un/favorably) - even if s/he herself/himself does not react openly to PGP(s)? Will s/he try to help them see the r/light? Act destructively/derogatively? (The latter can be answered in the affirmative to further test C.P.1 and C.P.2.)
C.L.4) C.L.2 and C.P.1 together lead to the possibility of group authority-REstructuring. Examples abound (in schools, work settings, etc.) where although the formal structure is relatively fixed (because it is usually based on such "more tangible" items as a Ph.D., an official assignment, or simple year-seniority), the informal structure might be relatively flexible.

M) Me and My Wants

The issues I am discussing so far are based mostly on my thinking for the last one and a half year - the time I lost (please, see the accompanying page 'academical fact sheet') as a "graduate" student in the Computer Engineering department in OmittedName4Internet University (a university otherwise considered second-to-none in Turkey across all the fields). Through an un/fortunately extensive case study, the questions I have put forward above (and others) have occupied my thinking my. I have answers to some of them - some simple, some complex; and the others are open questions waiting their answers. All are, 'answered' or not, are waiting to be tested.

My expectations from graduate school are:
1) Successful researchers in social psychology who can help me to acquire the 'tricks of the trade' (tests, group-handling, etc.) to the best of it - letting me pursue my line.
2) Being in the company of bright people for the next four/five years (that is, not only having good researchers in the social psychology field, but I chose also the institutions which have an overall high standing). I appear to be a curious person and like very much to be in the company of dedicated-to-the-pursue-of-knowledge bright people.

Kenny, D.A., & DePaulo, B.M. (1993). Do people know how others view them? An empirical and theoretical account. Psychological Bulletin, 114, 145-161.

I stated the university is second-to-none, as I consider it of prime importance that, there must exist smart students, and freedom. The university is the most popular university, throughout every field, it has a department for. It is/was most favored for student-relationships, too.

The academical quality has to be judged, whether the academicians were graduates of that university, or imported. e.g: A case study I publish, at this site, discusses the plagiarism of the Ph.D. dissertation of a "professor," who was a graduate of another university, who became a department's chairman, at my university. That "professor" is close to null, as a paper-publisher, too - in decades since his "Ph.D."/paper plagiarism, only a single peer-review paper (which is the Ph.D./paper of a student, at that university) is published.

Such imported un-credible "academicians" surely decrease the worth of the university, but it is not about the capabilities of the students, as far as the students consciously neglect/avoid the low-quality imports (and the imported tyrannies, too, by the way. e.g: my grades were not sent, my petitions were postponed by the advisor). (See, e.g: a petition example)

((sent to ETS))

I want to report a question in the GRE Computer Science test that I have received on Dec.10, 1994, which I found had ambiguous wording. Although I cannot remember the question number, it should be fairly trivial to spot from the keyword DFSA.

Also, I have a query about the ETS supervisor-and-rules system, and about GRE verbal vs. TOEFL.

		 Here goes the question-objection ....
---------------- o ----------------

How do you choose the supervisors, and how do you decide the test center procedures and regulations? (TOEFL rules like "... or behaves inappropriately" are particularly killing.)

ETS appears to have a trust in its supervisors in the order of infinity (asking for the reporting of rude behaviors cannot be counted as an exception - because it is not even an issue of trust in the sense I mean). ETS bulletins specify what kind of marker I am supposed to use to mark my answer sheet: medium-soft(#2 or HB) black lead pencils. So, why am I being prohibited from using (black) stabilos or ballpoint pens? This is no joke. If an example would help, let me give an (extreme(?)) one from USA: let us say a black is taking an exam and one or more of the supervisors is/are KKK sympathizers (or, just the vice versa, and an examinee being known as a KKK-person). When you claim to be conducting centralized and fair testing all over the world, you cannot miss the possibility of every sorts of tension (be it ethnic, or otherwise). An examinee cannot know such a thing for sure at all, and certainly not even a hint might be available until the score(s) arrive; and, then, how to prove?

How do you choose the supervisors; that is, are they accidental (whoever there is in the area) or is some crosschecking built in? Have you ever been sued for the requirement of writing with an erasable marker? I intended to offer only a glimpse of a larger subject.

---------------- o ----------------

Are you aware that the combined use of GRE Verbal and TOEFL does not necessarily mean much? This can be because the vocabulary appearing in TOEFL is much less arcane than those of the GRE Verbal's antonym and analogies, and for a foreigner the range of thinking is not restricted with his/her range of English-language vocabulary (which might be above TOEFL but below GRE vocabulary). A GRE "wordal" subscore would help.

Although I had other universities, too, on my list (Cornell, U.Mich, U.Minn, etc.), by the time, in February, when my military-related problems were over, there was only Rutgers, to apply. The next, is the first (cover) page. It was hand-written (in Feb.1x,1995).


I think the (non)action of challenge (vs. obedience) to be far more complicated than the "skin deep" presentations in social psychology textbooks. It is a system of social transactions that takes the individual with his/her identity-in-context and the results might not be simple point acts (obeyed(or not); then was punished/rewarded). I am interested in approaching investigation of this (potentially) socio-psychological earthquale from various aspects of it (a bit more detailed presentation can be found in the following typed pages) with the hope that this will make us see the bigger picture clearer.

As of "Why Rutgers?" I can point to the interest area 'Self, Social Identity, and Interpersonal Processes' being just what my line is about. Furthermore, the intensity of such experiences make them NOT irrelevant to 'Health Psychology' either.

At the end of my education and receiving a Ph.D., I expect to research and teach in the field of social psychology. Also, given the importance I assign to principled-unobedience, I am not very willing to do the research and the leave the results to the exploitation of "fat cats" (in the way of how they could structure the situation of obedience better). This entails me going public (through books, magazines, etc.) to increase the public awareness on this line of research.

My most outstanding (and most unfortunate) qualification for this line of research is the intense case study I have lived in the last one-and-a-half years (as a "graduate" student in a Comp. Eng. department; please, see the 'Academical Fact Sheet' at the baack of this bundle).

I do not like arbitrary acts that harm people. And many people (unfortunately) do not like criticism - especially those which, after being unheeded for some time, go public. These started it all. The rest is a bizarre comedy (which at a point resulted my grades not being delivered by two lecturers and me being "thrown out" for the last term, this only to be revoked this semester).

((The following typed pages are more relevant to the first year; the last term, in return, has led to my student-rights study (openness (and objectivity) in the evaluation process, symmetricity of responsibilities, ombudsman for efficient right-seeking, etc., etc. Call for details.))

My another qualification (or is this paradoxical (for psych?) is that I have an A.S. degree in Comp. Prog. (with honors) ans also interested in a few academical areas of Computer Science (also see my relevant GRE score) - which might be put to good use in research. I might pass both as a hacker and say, an AI academician (sounds good to hide oneself when needed).

Also, I have written computer programs for psychological (although cognitive, perceptual) experiments.

Was it a bit fiery? It would not lead to an acceptance, any way. But it has extra value now, as a document from my own old days. I keep by it. There.

Bits of History

I had good TOEFL and GRE scores.

TOEFL: 650 (max possible was 677 ?), TWE score: 5 (max=6. I received 5, for the not-complete last sentence, or for whatever reason)

GRE Psychology subject score: Percent below me: 99 (i.e: in the highest-percent)

GRE Psychology subscores: Both 77 (i.e: top scores in both PSY subfields)

GRE Computer Science subject score: Percent below me: 87

GRE Verbal, Percent below me: 65
GRE Quantitative, Percent below me: 91
Gre Analytical, Percent below me: 78

Forum: . . (Fair Menu . . . . . Fault Report? . . . . . Remedy for your case . . . . . Noticed Plagiarism?)

Referring#: 0.0.1
Last-Revised (text) on Aug. 30, 2004
With updates to looks on Aug.31,2004, & Oct.20,2009, &
a typo-correction and link to Y.Ö.K., on Oct.20,2009
Written by: Ahmed Ferzan/Ferzen R Midyat-Zilan (or, Earth)
Copyright (c) [2002,] 2003, 2004, 2009 Ferzan Midyat. All rights reserved.