8 questions/ 12 minutes
As sociologists Trimble and Medicine point out in a survey paper
published in 1966, many of the studies dealing with the Native
American (Indian) experiences have tended to focus on negative aspects
of Native Americans life and have characterized the Native American
in a negative vein. Prominent among these negative characterizations
is the contention that Native Americans tend to have low self-esteem.
In 1973 a small group of Native American professionals challenged the accuracy
of these negative reports. Their experiences suggested to them that most
Native Americans viewed themselves positively. After a series of discussions
they formulated a research task – specifically: “What would the self-image
of the Native American be if it were researched by Native Americans?”
In due course, an official research project was initiated. A crucial feature
of the project was the formation of a Native American advisory board, consisting
of community representatives from different regions of the country. One of
the purposes of the advisory board was to help dispel any antagonism that
there might be against the presence of social scientists in Native American
communities. In some of those communities, unfortunately, social scientists
had come to be recognized as “predators merely using the Native American
to further their own careers.”
Another important function of the advisory board was to assist in identifying
trained Native American interviewers for data collection. The idea of using
local residents as interviewers was rejected early on since it was felt that
respondents might be concerned, however needlessly, that personal information
might eventually turn into community gossip. The board opted for selection
of culturally sensitive nonresidents as interviewers.
The board also had a hand in shaping the survey questionnaire to be used.
Since time constraints made it impossible to devise a questionnaire that
would have been sensitive to the full diversity of the many distinct Native
American groups or tribes, a compromise solution had to be settled on that
would tap commonalities particular to Native Americans.
Finally, a total of 792 Native Americans ranging in age from 17 to over 80
and representing more than 150 tribal and Alaska Native groups were administered
a 309-page questionnaire.
One hundred and nine respondents also completed open-ended interviews. Questionnaire
items clustered around 38 subscales that yielded indices of self-regard,
values, philosophy of human nature, locus of control, and satisfaction with
life. Items contained in the interviews served to validate questionnaire
responses and supplement the questionnaire data with situation-specific information.
Findings included the following: (a) at least 95 percent of the respondents
have a moderate to strong sense of self-regard that is stable and enduring;
(b) there is a high degree of consistency of positive self-regard irrespective
of sex, tribe, and age; and (c) persons with a strong sense of self-regard
also tend to have a strong sense of personal values.
1. The primary
purpose of the passage is to:
(A) present a piece of research on Native Americans
as a model for other researchers to emulate.
(B) describe some of the
background, methods, and results of a study of Native Americans'
(C) analyze the efficacy
of advisory boards in social science research.
(D) contrast the questionnaire
method in social science with the method of open-ended interviews.
(E) discuss the conceptual
difficulties in investigating self-regard through groups of questions
clustering around subscales.
2. According to the passage,
hostility toward social scientists in some Native American communities
resulted from the communities' perception that:
(A) many of
the social scientists focused unduly on negative aspects of community
(B) none of the social
scientists employed local residents as interviewers.
(C) none of the social scientists
used questionnaires sufficiently sensitive to those Communities'
distinctive cultural backgrounds.
(D) the social scientists
carried out their studies for their own professional benefit
(E) Native American advisory
boards; where used, were not truly representative of the diversity
of Native American tribes.
3. The author of the passage views
the fact that some Native American communities perceived social
scientists as "predatory" with:
4. It can
be inferred from the passage that those designing the study wished
to ensure that:
(A) The identity of those
completing open-ended interviews was made publicly known in advance.
(B) No respondents were
selected from communities known to have been hostile to social
(C) Data collection was
carried out by interviewers thoroughly versed in sociological
(D) The confidentiality
of any information gained would be protected to the respondents'
(E) Any success the study
might have would not directly lead to career advancement for
any of them.
5. The author's purpose in the passage
is most probably to make more accessible to the public:
(A) certain innovative ideas
of a group of Native American professionals.
(B) a fundamental
critique of all of social science research.
(C) a well-supported
corrective to a body of questionable assertions.
(D) the optimistic
projections made by the Native American advisory board.
(E) a number of
intuitively appealing but largely speculative notions.
6. The wording
of the research task formulated by the group of Native American
professionals as quoted in the last sentence of the second paragraph
(A) there had been no previous
research on the self-image of Native Americans conducted by Native
(B) reports about the
self-image of Native Americans had been difficult to reconcile
with one another.
(C) the group
of Native American professionals had commissioned the
survey paper by Trimble and Medicine.
(D) research into
the self-image of Native Americans was intended to
be preliminary to a larger research program.
(E) informal polls
had led the group of Native American professionals
to question existing characterizations of Native American
7. The author of the passage ascribes
to which of the following a particularly important role in the
design of the study?
(A) sociologists Trimble
(B) local residents
serving as interviewers
Native American advisory board
group of Native American professionals challenging
the previous studies
communities that were resentful of social scientists
passage suggests that the researchers conducting the study would
most likely agree with which of the following principles?
(A) Social science research
should carefully balance studies of negative aspects of society
with studies of positive aspects.
(B) Social science
research on ethnic and/or racial groups should be carried out by
researchers who themselves belong to the groups studied.
(C) Social scientists
should adopt a general policy of reimbursing their respondents
for the time spent on questionnaires and/or interviews.
(D) Social scientists
should make their research results available in a form readily
accessible to the group or groups they have studied.
(E) Social scientists
should concentrate on studies that promise results that can be
utilized for purposes of practical policy making.