Final Exam: Project Assesments for Sociobiological Aspects of Sexual Jealousy

This research topic submitted by Sam Spillman, Roger Pryor, and Josh Elioseff ( ) on 5/7/98 .

Sam Spillman
Chris Meyers
I really enjoyed this class this semester. I thought the topic was fascinating and I liked the way the class ran. The subject was controversial enough that we got in some really good discussions. I feel like I have a great understanding of sexual jealousy and the implications sociobiology places on it. The readings were interesting and I never felt like it was a chore to read them. I also liked the way it tied in with Social Systems and even Creativity and Culture this semester. All the core courses this semester dealt with the human being and how we act. I actually used sociobiology in my thesis on human rationality for SS.
I think the project went very well, on a whole. I learned a lot about the reasons we act the way we do. I liked the poster idea and the class presentations for several reasons. One- it gave us all a chance to see the different ways sociobiology can be applied. Also because speaking in front of others is something I need to improve on. Another reason the poster was good is that it gave us a chance to be creative in a science class. Generally that is pretty rare and I enjoyed the chance.
I like the way the project worked out and the things I learned from it. I have never really liked group projects because of the frustration. Most often a few people do the work of the whole group and others just get to tag along for a good grade. With no work. I didnít mind it this time. Part of that is that with todayís system of instant communication people are going to be working more closely with each other all the time. This is a valuable skill to learn.
The project itself was fairly easy to work on. I live next door to Roger and it was easy for us to adapt to one anotherís schedules to work. It was also easy to pop in and bounce ideas off one another. Because of some of that I was worried Josh might feel left out. Rogerís work was very good. He did a lot of the internet research and contacting people we found on the net who we thought could help us. I did most of the library and book research. Josh helped sporadically. He came to most of the group meetings- all the oneís he found out about. He did miss some because of classes he skipped. He did some of the internet research and found the quiz we had in our poster project. He also helped with passing out the quizzes- especially at the MUGLBA. The three of us all had a hand in creating the quiz and analyzing the results. As for the paper itself. . . Roger did an excellent job using Statview to create graphs and come up with all the tables we needed. I am glad because I hate Statistics. Because of that; it was only fair that I handle the rest of the paper. I think we really worked well together, balancing our strengths and weaknesses. He was a lot better at dealing with Statview and I am a better typist- so it worked out well. He is a hard worker and always did what was needed. His ideas are also good- talking with him helped me (and I hope him) understand the sociobiological viewpoint. It was a good project.
I also enjoyed working with Roger because we became friends. I think that is pretty darn cool- so I am very glad we ended up working together. The only thing I wish we could have changed was the topic assignments. There were so many to choose from that I thought it was a shame for the course to only allow us time to research one. Of course we can research in our own time- but if we have something due for it, it is more likely to get done. I donít know how you could have arranged it differently, without changing the group projects but it still would have been nice to research more than one aspect of sociobiology. All in all, this class and project was a great experience for me and I really enjoyed it. I liked the class, the readings, the lectures, the project, and the people I worked with. I think you should definitely keep the class.

Roger Pryor
NS II Final Project
Chris Meyers
Individual Reflection Component

Other Group Members: Sam Spillman and Josh Ellioseph

In general, I enjoyed this assignment. I feel like I have a pretty firm grasp on sociobiology's explanation of sexual jealousy and I also gained a lot of knowledge from conducting our own research test. The paper itself, although rather long to write was made a lot easier with the aid of the suggested format sheet that you handed out. What I feel like I gained the most from was that we had to use Stat View to analyze our results. In last year's NS class I remember that we were supposed to use it but I surely didn't remember how. The most important thing that I gained from using Stat View this time was the roles that the summary tables, observed frequencies, and expected values played in conveying the tests results; it was especially helpful with understanding the effect and implications that the p-value plays in the significance of the numbers. (Yet, it was this unfortunate information that I learned about p-value which basically led to our test and hypothesis being rather inconclusive. But at least we could be objective.)
I really like the aspect of doing this final project with a group. More and more in the proverbial "real world," things are being required to accomplished in a group setting. The Western Program is teaching me plenty in the ways of writing and pattern forming through multiple disciplines, and on top of all of that, these type of group projects also contribute to my growth into a more well rounded and even more marketable being. These type of opportunities are also great because they not only allow us to share the work load, but more importantly to build relationships with classmates. I really feel like I benefited from that. In regards to the group dynamic and group process, I think that the end result was great. I had a really good time working with and getting to know Sam. We learned a lot together, challenging one another to be better and in the mean time developed a good friendship that was not there before. That is one of the best things that I really feel like I took away from this project. He was a really hard worker and could always be counted on to complete what ever was asked of him. He did a lot of the book research on our subject and contributed to a lot of the actual typing out of the paper, although we all helped in writing it. Being that we are neighbors this year in Peabody, we could get a lot of work done and still be in contact enough to work around one another's time conflicts. Josh was also productive, but rather inconsistently. He would actually show up to group meetings when he made the effort to come to class and find out about them, or if we called him about them and he was really quite helpful not only in the creation of the original survey but also in getting a few of them filled out by members of MUGLBA. As to the splitting up of work for this project, I, myself, never felt overburdened by this project even though I contributed to it a great deal. I did a lot of research on the web for information on sexual jealousy, some of which we used in the paper and some of which we simply read to give us a better and broader understanding of our topic. While all of us assisted in the writing out of the introduction, Sam and I did the majority of the rest of the paper,a s well as nearly all of the poster project. We then would share with one another what we had completed and changed what we felt was appropriate. It was a rather successful way of getting the paper done.
The only thing I somewhat wish might be different is that the poster project could be different from the final project. I feel like I have a really good understanding of sexual jealousy and how it relates to this class, but I wish we were required to choose another topic for the final so as to broaden what we learned. Maybe after all the posters were done we could choose which seemed to interest us the most and take that topic for out final. But, I admit, I could have done this if I wanted to, it just would have been cool if it was required.

Josh was unable to submit a project assessment.

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