Wednesday, May 14, 2014

URSP Student Jessica Smith Researches the "Apple Culture" and How it Affects their Decisions to Purchase Apple Products

My research project focuses on the millennial generation’s perception about what I term the “Apple Culture,” and how that affects their decisions to purchase Apple products. I am conducting this research for my Honors Communication research methods course. For the Honors program, we were required to take the class for two semesters in order to fully develop our research. I knew that I wanted to pursue a question that would be fun and that I would be interested in for a whole school year. As a communication major, I knew I had a wide variety of topics to select. I ended up choosing something relating to the media, since it is such a huge influence on my generation. I’ve seen the rise of Apple products and how the majority of my peers have iPhones, iPads and MacBooks. I myself own an iPhone. There is something about these products that appeal to Millennials and I wanted to dig a little deeper and see what people’s motives for purchasing these products were. This project is related to my long-term goals because I plan on doing media analysis work in order to deconstruct the ideologies that limit the boundaries of what it means to be valued in today’s society.

Since I did a pilot study last semester, this semester’s work has been a lot less stressful. The majority of my time in the past few weeks has been dedicated to data collection. I designed a survey and sent it out to various listservs and social media sites so that I could get a wide range of responses. I am now in the data analysis stage, which includes looking at the multiple variables that my questionnaire covered and performing tests on them to see how they match up with my hypotheses. One thing I learned this week was how much my research study changed from last semester. I originally thought I was studying the different stages of adoption of a certain Apple product, but it turned out that I’m more interested in the loyalty of Millennials to the Apple brand.