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Testing the Significance of Racial, Age, and Gender Descriptors in Relation to Personal Interaction

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Finalist Names:
Burke, Audra
Burke, Audra
Mackay, Jason

The purpose of this investigation is to determine if people use age, race, or gender descriptors when describing or introducing themselves in a social environment. We hypothesized that descriptors of race would be the most prevalent, with this descriptor being used more often in White or Caucasian and Asian or Pacific Islander respondents. This experiment involved giving participants a survey consisting of close ended questions asking if they would use race, age, or gender as a descriptor in a social setting, as well as determining what their race, age group, and gender. Therefore, all of the data collected was either binary or categorical. The data collected did not support the original hypothesis. The data shows that 46% of the total surveyed group used racial identifiers when asked to introduce themselves, with the distinction being the most prevalent in the Hispanic or Latino category, with 76% of respondents using a racial identifier. The White or Caucasian group had the least percentage in terms of racial identification at 24%. Gender identification proved to be the most prevalent, as 74% of all participants stated that they would use their age group to describe themselves. These findings lead us to believe that there is a positive social trend away from the importance of race in social interaction. These results could prove to be of great importance in business, marketing, and leadership.