ESRC Festival of Social Science

What traits do you look for in a friend? It might be a shared interest, such as a love of football. Alternatively it could be a good sense of humour, a similar outlook on life, or a shared experience – such as growing up in the same village. Other traits that you might value include kindness, trustworthiness and loyalty.

For the past six years the WISERD Education project has been following the lives of children and young people in Wales. The researchers have conducted an annual survey of over 1,000 young people each year, following them all from the beginning of secondary school in Year 7 to when they leave school (from Years 11 to 13). The point of the survey is to increase our understanding of the lives and educational experiences of young people in Wales.

At this event, researchers will explain a bit more about the survey to young people from Fitzalan High School in Cardiff, as well as discuss what the survey has shown about the traits young people look for in their friendships.

The interactive event will also teach young people about the methods social scientists use, and how the survey data collected from them is analysed and used to inform social science research. In addition to engaging young people in research about themselves, this event has the potential to encourage more young people to consider a future career in the social sciences.