Uni Receives Backlash Over Master’s Research Survey

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The University of Stirling has received some backlash over a survey that was produced for a student’s Master’s research last month.

Images emerged over social media with questions based around autism, the questions looked at to which extent you would be willing or unwilling to interact with someone with autism.

The survey gave a multiple-choice selection for participants to tick on how much they would interact in different scenarios.

The series of questions was conducted as part of a student’s Masters research at the university. 

However, the survey gained some backlash from people over social media, who thought the survey was not acceptable. 

One twitter user said: “Beyond appalled to see this. @Stiruni”

“The Document is clearly discriminatory and unacceptable.”

“An apology and it’s immediate removal is required.”

Another twitter user said: “@Stiruni Upset to see this in a MSc survey about counselling autistic clients.

“Would you ask the same questions of clients of a different race, gender, or with other disabilities? All the more reason to have #actuallyautistics involved in the planning of research. @aaspireproject”

Commenting on the survey a University of Stirling spokesperson said: “This survey was conducted as part of a Masters student project investigating the perceptions, knowledge and experience of counsellors working with autistic people. The project received full ethical approval and its findings will help increase knowledge and decrease stigma in this area.

“The survey included the pre-existing ‘Social Distance Scale’ – a well-established set of questions that are used widely by the research community to measure prejudice and intergroup relations by asking participants to self-disclose their feelings of acceptance for members of other groups. This scientific approach allows researchers to understand why stigma and prejudice exists – a vital step in countering discriminatory views.”

The university spokesperson continued to say: “The research supervisor has acknowledged that, when presented without this context, the questions are insensitive. She has withdrawn the survey and apologised for any offence caused.”

The survey was taken down due to the reaction from the members of the public and the university have apologised for any offence caused.

However, the piece of research had full ethical approval from the university.

Image credit: Brig Newspaper

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